Australian Rugby League legend Darren Lockyer has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame for involvement in a number of off-field incidents during and after his outstanding career.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international and Sydney Roosters player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Corey Norman from the Parramatta Eels won in 2016.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Lockyer was first nominated for joking about the Canterbury Bulldogs gang rape scandal in 2004. He chirped at a charity fund raiser that;
“St George won 11 premierships with one Raper. Imagine how many Canterbury will win.”
After a crash course in English grammar, the Broncos legend returned to captain the Kangaroos and earn a second nomination, this time for a drunken incident in a bar.
Lockyer was accused of tackling the manager of Casablanca Bar in Brisbane. He originally denied the charge then later admitted to the act in the face of irrefutable evidence.
Ironically, the league public responded to this incident with a joke of their own, claiming that this was the only person Lockyer had ever brought down by himself.
The proud Queenslander and Channel 9 commentator consolidated his nomination for the Hall of Fame when later he admitted to a gambling problem.
The chosen few will be inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame at the end of 2017.
Fist published in June, 2017.