The Line Australia's Larrikin PM Bob Hawke Will Most Be Remembered For

It was a momentous day in Australian sport, but one line from then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke went down in history.

It was 1983 and Australia II had just won the America's Cup for the first time.

Sitting in a blazer covered with Australian flags, Bob Hawke uttered one sentence that cemented him as the People's PM.

Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.

Ask any Australian alive at the time about that line, and they can tell you where they were when he said it.

It may be what we remember Hawke for, but as for the man himself -- he had mixed feelings about it.

"I'm very proud of it in one way [and] very disappointed that all the other, many brilliant things I've said are never mentioned," Hawke later said.

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, wearing the famous jacket he wore when Australia II won the America's Cup, during the 30th anniversary of Australia's win in the America's Cup. Photo: AAP

Hawke's larrikin nature was part of why he was so popular, and why the everyday Australian could relate to him, something rarely seen in politics since.

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He was the previous Guinness Book of Record holder for skolling a yard of ale, downing a sconce pot in just 11 seconds -- a punishment from his college during his days at Oxford University.

A plaque to his name sits on the wall of Oxford establishment the Turf Tavern.

Hawke's love of beer was well-known, and in recent years he was a regular sight at Australian cricket matches.

Bob Hawke downs a beer at the SCG in 2014. Photo: Reuters

One particularly iconic moment came during the 2013/2014 Ashes series at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where in front of a bay of people dressed as Richie Benaud, Hawke skolled his beer -- at the age of 84.

He even allowed his name and image to be used by Hawke's Brewing Co, with all of his royalties donated to environment not-for-profit group Landcare Australia.

Bob Hawke at the launch of Hawke Beer Co. Photo: AAP

Bob Hawke passed away peacefully on May 16.

His wife Blanche d'Alpuget paid tribute to her husband, calling him the "greatest Australia of the post-war era".

"Bob was dearly loved by his family, and so many friends and colleagues. We will miss him," she said in a statement.

A private funeral will be held by Blanche and Hawke's children -- Sue, Stephen, Rosslyn and stepson Louis -- and grandchildren, with a public memorial service to be held in Sydney in the coming weeks.