FIRED-UP Manly legends have called on Anthony Watmough to keep his mouth shut, move to Parramatta, and stop disrespecting the club that made him a life member.
In the countdown to what’s sure to be a fiery round one grudge match between arch rivals Parramatta and Manly, Watmough lit the fuse with an extraordinary attack on his old club at the Eels’ recent season launch.
A Sea Eagles’ life member, Watmough publicly admitted to his “hate” of Manly — and indirectly took another swipe at Geoff Toovey.
While Toovey refused to get into a public slanging match with his former star back-rower on Wednesday, Manly greats Ken Arthurson, Terry Randall and Max Krilich reminded Watmough what the club did for him.
Randall called his comments “dumb” and said “just keep your mouth shut”, while Krilich suggested Watmough should leave the northern beaches and go live at Parramatta.
Told Watmough had said “there’s people in this team who hate Manly even more than I do”, Arthurson was clearly shocked and upset.
“He said that? He said he hates Manly?” Arthurson asked. “For him to say those things really disappoints me.
“I have no issue with him going to another club.
“But for him to speak in disparaging terms of the club, particularly as a life member, is very, very poor taste really.
“I think the Manly club has been very, very good to Anthony.
“I have the greatest respect for how he played for Manly and I regard him as a friend.
“As a matter of fact, I supported his life membership. I am just absolutely astounded.
“He has done a great job for Manly but the Manly club has been good to him, too.
“I mean, no one would have heard of Anthony Watmough if he had not have been playing football and the Manly club has helped him through the years. I am really disappointed.”
“Brad is a pretty inspiring person.”
Asked if it was time for Watmough to move on, Toovey told media at training: “I don’t know why he wouldn’t but as I said you’d have to ask Anthony that question.”
Toovey again declined to comment when The Daily Telegraph contacted him afterwards.
Krilich suggested if Watmough hates Manly so much he should move out west.
“I think he should go and live out at Parramatta to be honest. He’ll enjoy it,” Krilich said.
“We all know Choc has had his demons and the club has always stood by him. Now he wants to bag them. It’s sad.
“The Manly football club has set him up for life. Now he wants to come back and have a shot at this club.
“I was the one who actually put him up for life membership. I think it is a sad indictment on the young fella.”
On social media, fans were outraged. Toovey’s former teammate Mark “Spud” Carroll was guarded in his defence.
“I don’t want to say too much. Toovs is a good mate of mine,” Carroll said.
Former enforcer Randall’s advice was straightforward.
“Anthony is probably better off where he is now because he is happier but just keep your mouth shut,” Randall said.
“I know Choc. I’m not a mate of his but I see him in the street a bit. But from my point of view it is a dumb thing for him to say.
“You know the old saying, a still tongue is a wise head. I think it is a bit silly on Watmough’s behalf because he sounds like a bitter man.
“He would be better off saying nothing at all.”