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Bellamy to Fight On

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy this afternoon addressed the media at AAMI Park in Melbourne and delivered the following statement:

“This has without doubt been the toughest 48 hours of our sporting lives.

“We have been gutted with what has transpired in recent days. Our greatest accomplishments and what we cherish most have been taken away from us by the harshest of unprecedented penalties.

“These guys behind me, they work their butts off, for 11 of the 12 months of the year, to be the best they can be on the football field.

“The majority of them have been here since they were kids.

“They spill blood for each other, for this club, for our members and supporters, for the development of rugby league in Victoria.

“They do it to win premierships – something we have been stripped of having any chance to do so this year.

“And they do it because they love to play for their teammates and the admiration they have for one another.

“We truly feel for our members and supporters. They are the most loyal and dedicated of fans. They have stood by us through tough times before.

“We again ask them to stand by us now.

“I want to thank the families of our players and staff for their unwavering support of everybody here at the club. We love you all.

“The two things they can never take away are our dignity and our integrity.

“That is why we welcome the full forensic investigation that is currently taking place at our club.

“We know we will be investigated. We welcome that.

“I love this club. I love these players. These players love this club.

“This is a great club. A strong club. A proud club. It has also been a successful club.

“This is why we stand here today united, we are not going anywhere, this club will not surrender.

“We, as people and as a rugby league club, have a big role to play in Victoria, which we are most proud of.

“We will not walk away from that challenge.

“We will stand up for ourselves and fight our way back from here. That fight starts today and on the field it will start tomorrow.

“The ongoing investigation currently taking place at the club means we are unable to answer any further questions here today.

“This is an ongoing process and one that may take time. And it is one that we welcome so we can start the rebuilding process.”

Bellamy and Melbourne captain Cameron Smith will hold a press conference tomorrow night at the conclusion of Storm’s round seven NRL match against the New Zealand Warriors at Etihad Stadium.