It is the sort of news that no NRL fan wants to hear, but unfortunately, when it happens, the entire NRL community goes into a state of both shock and mourning.
It comes after the news that young Manly utility Jason Annear was found dead at the base of a headland in near Queenscliff and Freshwater, after falling to his death, just hours after the club held their annual presentation dinner.
It was around 7pm when members called the police, with Annear found in the exact suit that he was wearing to Manly’s end of season-event, which was held at the Pacific Hotel nearby.
The news is hard to fathom for any NRL fan, but for Manly officials, it is even harder to do so – with Annear described as a quiet, likable and trouble-free youngster who came through the Manly ranks, and was on the cusp of first-grade.
Although Manly refuse to make an official statement at this time, and are waiting the findings of the coroner’s report – they did issue a small statement via Twitter.
“Tragic news for the club today. Out of respect for the family, we’ll make a statement at a more appropriate time.”
To supplement his earnings playing for Manly, Annear was also the doorman at Manly Leagues Club, with some Manly insiders shocked at his death.
“He was really upbeat and even talking about next year,” one Sea Eagles insider said.
“It just doesn’t make sense. He was a quiet kid, but extremely polite and absolutely no trouble whatsoever.”
With members of the public interviewed on Friday night about the incident, 15m from where Annear was found – Michelle Paxton, who was holidaying in the area at a 10-storey apartment complex, said that police interviewed every occupant.
“They knocked on our door about 7pm Sunday night and wanted to look at the balcony,” she said.
In a sign that the death of the Manly forward hit people hard, a Facebook page with in excess of 5000 likes was created, to honour the tragic death.