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Old 22-08-2011, 09:37 PM
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Default Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Professional Rugby League is one of the toughest sports in the world and over the years there have been many young players who have had their careers tragically cut short due to injury or other medical reasons. The ones that I wish to discuss are:

Firstly, Adam Ritson, he started with the Sharks as a 16 year old when he was already bigger than most players and had the world at his feet, he came to Parra with Brian Smith's new regime and it looked like we had a great young Prop who would be with us for another 10-12yrs, then came that high tackle from John Lomax and luckily after having scans they found a Tumour on his brain this was a real tragedy from a League perspective as he was only 19 and had all that potential in front of him he would of definately been a long term Origin player and Kangaroo, but for him personally it was probably the luckiest thing that could of happened as if it wasn't detected it could of killed him.

Secondly is a young red headed second rower called Danny Sullivan he was with us from 2001 - 2003 but only played 5 games for us because of knee injuries and complications from surgeries. He was a gun junior and he too could of been anything. He ended up leaving Parra to go to the Warriors (to hook up with Daniel Anderson again) where he only played one game, got another severe knee injury and ultimately had to retire. I always hoped he would come back (as he had such huge potential) but sadly never did.

Lastly I would like to talk about (although not a Parra player, but probably the most tragic) is Sonny Fai, This guy was touted as the "Next big thing", he tragically died trying to heroically save I think it was his young brother and cousins from drowning in the off season after 2009. He could of been anything and although he had played a number of 1st Grade games, he was still an U20's Toyota Cup player.
Anybody wish to discuss these or maybe any other of the many careers that were cut far too short?
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Old 22-08-2011, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Brett Anderson looked an excellent player to me...he was tall, fast, agile and excellent under the high ball but he wrecked his knee and then had complications (possibly infection?) from the surgery IIRC. He then came back and wrecked it again very quickly. Had a few games for us, Nth QLD and Melbourne over the years but never ever reached the heights he could have.

Ash Graham is probably not a career ended too early, but after that horrible leg injury he was never the same again...gun shy in defence, lost a lot of pace and agility and went from a really really promising and effective player to a fringe first grader
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Old 22-08-2011, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Brett Papworth could have been anything.
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Old 22-08-2011, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Daniel Mortimer. Promising midget who succumbed to 2nd and 3rd year syndromes.
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Old 22-08-2011, 09:58 PM
parra pete parra pete is offline
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

[QUOTE=J-sin;7689783]Professional Rugby League is one of the toughest sports in the world and over the years there have been many young players who have had their careers tragically cut short due to injury or other medical reasons. The ones that I wish to discuss are:

Firstly, Adam Ritson, he started with the Sharks as a 16 year old when he was already bigger than most players and had the world at his feet, he came to Parra with Brian Smith's new regime and it looked like we had a great young Prop who would be with us for another 10-12yrs, then came that high tackle from John Lomax and luckily after having scans they found a Tumour on his brain this was a real tragedy from a League perspective as he was only 19 and had all that potential in front of him he would of definately been a long term Origin player and Kangaroo, but for him personally it was probably the luckiest thing that could of happened as if it wasn't detected it could of killed him.

Actually Ritto came under Ron Hilditch regime and was never coached at Parra by Brian Smith.
Adam is a mate, and he is going well. He holds the Parramatta Club in high regard. The Club helped out hugely after he was forced to give it away.
He is a very funny man, and I would love to see Rugby League get him into the system in some sort of PR job. He worked on the NRL Road Train with my son for a couple of seasons (that's how I got to know him), and he really enjoyed the involvement.
Yep, I reckon he would have been one of the all time greats if he had stayed healthy.
AND No not 'could have.'.It WOULD have killed him if it was undetected...
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Old 22-08-2011, 09:58 PM
Ratchy Ratchy is offline
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

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Originally Posted by Bazal View Post
Ash Graham is probably not a career ended too early, but after that horrible leg injury he was never the same again...gun shy in defence, lost a lot of pace and agility and went from a really really promising and effective player to a fringe first grader

I was at the game when he hurt his leg and that sound i'll never forget it was eerie
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Geoff Selby and Ben Alexander
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Yeah Brett Papworth could of been a Dual International, great strike rate - 82 tries in only 96 games!
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Here's a question for those with a better memory than me...was it Brett Anderson who sued a surgeon over botched knee surgery, or am I getting players mixed up?
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Thanks for the correction Parra Pete, I could have sworn Smith started with us in 1996. My bad! Thanks mate.
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:22 PM
parra pete parra pete is offline
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

Christopher Sykes..died from Cancer at the Age of 20 the year after winning Player of the Grand Final in the Presidents Cup of 1993.

He played for Easts, coached by former Rothmans Medallist Barry Russell - defeating a Cronulla side coached by Stuart Raper and containing blokes like Matt Rogers, David Peachey and Adam Ritson.

The 1993 Grand Final was the last game he played. Christopher was from Mungindi and had graduated from that wonderful Rugby League School, St Gregs at Campbelltown, coached by Pete Mulholland (who has just been signed by the Knights as recruitment manager from 2012)

Chris was the son of my cousin and a lovely lovely bloke. R I P Christopher.
Eastern Suburbs Roosters now present the Christopher Sykes Medal as an annual award for the Club's most promising player.
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:27 PM
parra pete parra pete is offline
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

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Thanks for the correction Parra Pete, I could have sworn Smith started with us in 1996. My bad! Thanks mate.

No problem..Ritto told me once that the canterbury 4 used to run the training sessions, even though Ron was the coach. "Forget that, this is how we will do it" one of them would say (Jimmy Dymock from memory)
Pay, McCracken, Jason Smith, Dymock, Nathan Barnes, Ritto, and Aaron Raper joined up..Pre Salary Cap Days. Get that lot on contract now and tell me you are playing fair...
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

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Originally Posted by parra pete View Post
No problem..Ritto told me once that the canterbury 4 used to run the training sessions, even though Ron was the coach. "Forget that, this is how we will do it" one of them would say (Jimmy Dymock from memory)
Thanks for the stories Pete. I remember going to the stadium with my Dad and watching Parra training in 86. I can clearly remember Pricey barking instructions the whole time and Monie would occassionally chip in with instructions.
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:39 PM
jimmy77au jimmy77au is offline
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

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Originally Posted by TheParraboy View Post
Geoff Selby and Ben Alexander
Still remember when this happened - sad day in the Penrith District (Even though I was an eels supporter) - happened around the corner from my now wife.....

MG still affected too it seems - even alluded to it tonight on Can of Worms.
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Young Careers That Tragically Ended Far Too Early.

nik kosef (sorry)

brandy alexander

mike eden
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