The Sharks are throwing their support behind former NRL player Nathan Stapleton who recently suffered a serious spinal injury while playing Rugby for the country town of Boorowa.
With speed and power, ‘Stapo’ became a fan favourite at the Sharks, playing on at wing, centre and fullback in a 61-game NRL career from 2009-2014, with the injury coming as a major shock to all at the Cronulla club and to the close-knit community of Boorowa in southwestern NSW.
The Boorowa club released a statement earlier this week to express their concern and to provide some detail around the incident.
“To all members of the Boorowa Rugby community,
During our game last Saturday at West Wyalong, Goldies Men's player Nathan Stapleton suffered a significant injury during the second half which led to the match being abandoned. Unfortunately during contact, Nathan fractured his neck and injured his spinal cord, requiring significant medical assistance. Through an incredible effort from members of each club, Nathan was given first aid until paramedics could arrive.
Nathan has begun his recovery at hospital in Sydney, and whilst he shows improvement each day the extent of his injuries and long-term impact remains unclear. All our thoughts and prayers are with Nathan, his wife Kate and their family at this time.
A special thank you to all of the Goldies family, rugby clubs and Boorowa citizens who have offered their thoughts and support. We will continue to support Nathan in the short and long term, and we will communicate plans for this in the near future.
Boorowa Rugby Club"
In the first of what will be ongoing fundraising initiatives to assist ‘Stapo’ in his recovery and rehabilitation, an auction of the match worn and signed Sharks Anzac Jerseys from tonight’s game against Manly will take place, with all funds going towards supporting Nathan and his family.
The Sharks Anzac commemorative jersey features images front and back, provided by Sutherland Shire photographer John Veage, taken at the local dawn service at Cronulla Beach on the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli.
Key elements of the jersey also include a traditional poppy and sprig of rosemary, prominent above the Sharks club logo. The camouflage pattern is in the Sharks blue colours, with traditional camo print trim on the collar, sleeve cuff and bottom of jersey.
The cross image on the front of the jersey is emblazoned with the eternal Anzac phrase - LEST WE FORGET.
The unique Sharks Anzac jersey is a striking design and a special piece of club memorabilia.
Go to the link, make a bid and support a former Shark in his time of need.
CLICK HERE to go to the auction link, with the jersey to be individually signed and delivered in a special display box.
There has also been a GofundMe page set up to support Nathan and his family. CLICK HERE to donate.