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Matt Cross

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by wombatgc, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. wombatgc

    wombatgc Well-Known Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +4,512 /73
    In this week of madness, spare a thought for Matt Cross and his family fighting the worst enemy of all...the one from within.


    BY rights, Matt Cross should be in Brisbane this weekend helping Manly spoil Darren Lockyer's farewell party.
    Instead, the big NRL prop will be at home with wife Jodie and kids Riley and Lacey celebrating Father's Day.

    Cross quit football last weekend after a career tormented by continued misdiagnosis and a private pain that turned his world to hell.

    Almost everyone has an opinion on bipolar disorder. Too often the stigma is that it's just an excuse for celebrities and sporting stars who behave badly.

    Matt and Jodie have another opinion - formed by cruel experience. After surviving a lifetime of torment, Matt wants to speak of the hope that comes from doing the hard yards. He reckons there would be kids on every street who could relate to his story.

    "You would go out to parties drinking but I always wanted to keep drinking and write myself off," he says.

    "It's like you just wanted to escape your reality ... when I was at Penrith, the boys used to call me Hank. You know the movie Me, Myself And Irene - the split personality? If I started drinking, I would change my personality and go on a bender."

    He knew there was a problem - he just didn't know what. Depression was his first diagnosis but the medication only made his condition worse.

    In 2009 he found answers at his fourth NRL club, Manly. But it didn't solve his problems immediately and last October Matt attempted suicide. He spent a week in Northside Clinic seeking help.

    Just as it appeared his life was back on track, Jodie answered a call from a woman who had lived through it all before.

    Cath Johns, wife of league legend Andrew Johns, "rang and said Andrew had just been with Matt and Andrew thought that Matt was manic", Jodie recalls.

    From his own experiences with bipolar, Johns recognised the high would eventually end in a low.

    And more importantly, he cared enough to speak out for his mate.

    "I knew he wasn't managing the bipolar," Jodie said. "We were both guilty. It had become a dirty word in the house ... but the not sleeping had started again and that is the worst because you know they are just going to crash."

    And crash he did.

    JODIE went to her mother's with the kids but returned to find Matt almost comatose.

    She called Manly football manager Steve Gigg, who bundled media manager Peter Peters and captain Jamie Lyon into a car and headed to the Cross home.

    Matt had bravely told his team-mates about his problems when he arrived at the club. Now they got to see first-hand the torment that walked with him every step of the way.

    "They put me into the Manly hospital psych ward and I ended up going to the clinic again," he says.

    Jodie was ready to walk out on the marriage. Fed-up, frustrated - who could blame her? But then her own brother helped her understand.

    "He said to me, and I will never forget it, 'What if Matt was in a different ward and he had cancer - would you go and see him then?' I said, 'Of course I would'.

    "Brad said, 'Well, it's no different'. Matt didn't ask for this, he doesn't want this. That's the thing I want to get out there: Bipolar doesn't discriminate. You think Matt's a big strong footballer ... how could anything hurt him?"

    Now, with the right medication, it's been seven months since Matt suffered his last setback. Tomorrow they'll celebrate Father's Day - as a family.

    September is men's health month. Matt's ready to begin the next chapter of his life by helping the NRL teach young players it's OK to ask for help.

    "People have to know that there is someone to talk to," he said

    Best wishes to Matt and his family.Keep fighting the good fight.
  2. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    +2,376 /60
    The analogy to cancer is a strong one.
  3. Phantar

    Phantar Well-Known Member

    +273 /0
    It would be nice if the Club could find a role for Matt Cross within the organisation, if he wants it. He struck me as a very loyal player.
  4. manlyfan76

    manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,065 /174
    Good on you Matt and family. In this battle you must play for the full 80.
  5. WAMF

    WAMF Well-Known Member

    +408 /0
    Poor bastard. The illness prevented him from ever reaching the great heights in the NRL that he was likely capable of.
  6. Budgewoi Eagle

    Budgewoi Eagle In for the long haul. Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +5,820 /82
    Tough tough fight. All the best to Matt and his family. Keep following the light Matt.
  7. Blowfly

    Blowfly Well-Known Member

    +292 /14
    Gee, my heart goes out to the big fella & his family. All the best Matt & good luck with your battles!
  8. bones

    bones Bones Knows

    +9,037 /102
    Poor Matt. I often wondered what went wrong with him, and why he never seemed to be in line for a first grade spot this year. Hopefully he can keep control of it now and manage it well so that he can live a happy life. Well done Matt, to get where you are today from where you were is a courageous effort. Anyone who wears the Maroon and White is a champion in my books and I think this should serve as a lesson to us all, before we start with personal attacks on these forums, on Manly players who we don't think is up to it. Just goes to show that there may be a very good reason they lose form and that you just never know what their circumstances may be, and what they are going through. Some can be a little harsh in their criticisms of Manly players on here sometimes.
  9. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +10,569 /215
    One thing about this report is that it highlights that we the fans do not always know what is going on in the players personal lives. They are people with personal issues like all of us. I recall Matt copping some bagging for his form, of course no-one was to know the health issues he had but it is a reminder that we don't know all the issues & we can remember that before we make judgment on folks.

    Good luck to Matt and your family, and thanks for being a Manly player.

    edit I see I was writing my post at the same time as yours Bones, agree with what you say.
  10. mickqld

    mickqld Sack Greenslime 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +5,250 /109
    Best of luck for the future for you and your family Matt. It's a shame we didn't get to see the real Matt Cross play but I sincerely hope you have beaten this aweful problem and can move forward to a bright future.
  11. Volley

    Volley Well-Known Member

    +1,109 /54
    ****, hectic. Good luck big guy.
  12. Nut

    Nut Member

    +2 /0
    Good on him for having the courage to speak out
  13. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +4,851 /102
    Shows the benefit of having the full story before bagging a player
  14. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member

    +516 /0
    Can't see why he can't play on with medication.
  15. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,610 /80
    Insidious disease. Good luck with the future
  16. BOZO

    BOZO Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +7,397 /390
    Good point.

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