In some sad news for the rugby league community and the NRL, Gary Mara, a former rugby league player for the Balmain Tigers and the Parramatta Eels, has been killed in Santa Monica, California, after he was hit by a drunk driver.
Mara, 50, was crossing the road with his wife and daughter near the Santa Monica Pier, when he was struck by the vehicle, taking the brunt of the collision, before dying in hospital.
His daughter was also hit, but it is believed that Mara ushered her to safety, hence her suffering of only minor injuries.
Mara was a player in the NSWRFL in the 1980’s, before retiring to go and work in the pub run by his family, the Unity Hall Hotel in Balmain.
Steve Ginty was a close friend of Mara’s, and said that a lot of people are shocked at his sudden passing.
“I have known Gary for the last 12 years or so,” he said.
“He was just a very giving bloke with an incredible sense of decency.
“He was a giver not a taker.”