Manly prop Brenton Lawrence’s Anzac Day mark of respect
APRIL 21, 20169:04AM
DEAN RITCHIEThe Daily Telegraph
MANLY prop Brenton Lawrence knows just how gruelling and physically challenging the NRL can be.
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He knows the mental demands it takes, and how his body will be battered and punished each weekend.
Yet no matter how courageous he may come across as being on the football field, Lawrence hates being labelled a hero.
That tag, according to Lawrence, belongs to real Australian heroes, those who have served this country. And among those is Lawrence’s immediate family.
His grandfather, Neil Harden, fought in Vietnam. His father, Marty, retired last year from the air force, while brother-in-law Michael Vickers has served in Afghanistan and Iraq with the army. Vickers is presently in Fiji completing relief work.
“I have some men there that I respect and am very close to and have served their country through the military,” Lawrence said.
Brenton Lawrence. The Sea Eagles at a squad media session at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen.Source:News Corp Australia
Lawrence will stand proud this Anzac Day when the Last Post is played before his side’s match against Newcastle on Monday at Hunter Stadium.
To clearly demonstrate his admiration for the armed services, Lawrence had Lest We Forget tattooed on his right bicep.
The giant Sea Eagles forward speaks openly and passionately about the horrifying perils of war.
“A football injury is one thing, but it is nothing compared to what those diggers endured and what a lot of the current serving men and women in the Australian defence force now endure,” Lawrence said.
“At Gallipoli, climbing the mountain and jumping over the trenches to certain death.
“Almost 100 years ago those kids would have probably been on a different level to the kids now.
“But at the same time, a lot of them were 19-year-old kids. It’s hard to imagine really, it would have been horrific.
Brenton Lawrence shows his Lest We Forget tattoo.Source:Supplied
“But across the First World War and then again the Second World War there was mass murder on a scale we have never seen before on this earth.
“Then again Vietnam, with young fellas going over as national servicemen who didn’t want to be there in the first place, you were told you had to go. That I can imagine would be terrifying.”
Lawrence will play his first Anzac Day match on Monday.
“The Last Post is a powerful piece of music that you can’t help but be taken back to the time of the Anzacs,” he said. “
And it always makes me think about those young men a long time ago who went off to war with great gusto and excitement, I guess not really knowing what we know now having such media coverage of everything. A lot of the poor buggers never came home.”
Asked about his tattoo, Lawrence said: “I was a lot younger and wanted to get a tattoo and I wanted to have something respectful and not stupid.’’
Originally published as Lawrence’s Anzac Day mark of respect
Big thumbs up to BJ