Partner’s name: Stacey
Children’s names: Pippi 8 & Ace 3
Charity: Souths Cares

The most capped player in the history of the proud South Sydney Rabbitohs, John has played more than 330 games for his beloved Rabbitohs since his debut in the 2004 season. If that longevity wasn’t enough to earn him legendary status, captaining the club to it’s first premiership in 43 years in the historic 2014 triumph certainly was. A skilful, versatile player, John has cemented himself as a fixture in the Souths back-row after debuting as a rangy five-eighth or centre with some deft ball skills. After 16 seasons at the famous club, John recently announced his retirement from the game. Despite being in the twilight of his career, John is still an important cog in the Rabbitohs machine. But more importantly, he is an important cog in his family unit and he wouldn’t change that for the world. “My life has changed immensely since the kids were born,” John said. “I live every moment for them and my wife Stacey. I actually thrive on being a dad and it’s something I really love doing. I’m grateful that I was blessed with two beautiful kids and a great wife. We have heaps of fun together.” His wide Stacey then went onto say “John’s just the complete package. He is devoted to the kids and spends as much time with them as possible. He’s a great companion and my best friend. He cares greatly about his family and those around him.”

How big an inspiration are the kids to your career? Huge. Since Pippi was born I have certainly changed in many ways. I guess I’ve grown up a lot. Parenting has been very good for me and I often feel like I’m playing for my family as much as I’m playing for the club and my teammates. They make their dad very proud. - John

What is your favourite activity with them? In summer time it’s going to the beach. Relaxing, joking about and watching them enjoy life. - John

On game day, do you like to relax with the kids or do you try to keep away from the family? I spend the mornings with them and we all have breakfast together but after that, I try and just chill out if I can and relax. - John

What is your most memorable moment with the kids? In 2014, we were lucky enough to win the comp and I was lucky enough to carry Pippi around the field with me on our victory lap. It was an amazing feeling and something that I’ll never forget. Ace came up with a clanger this week I took him to the local surf shop and he managed to knock over a dozen boards. Fortunately there was no damage done. - John

I guess you've seen Stacey in a whole new light? Yep, sure have. Stacey is amazing. She’s the captain of our ship. She’s a wife, mum, a doctor, a driver, a cleaner, a chef and an amazing person. I’m very very lucky! - John

What's been the toughest thing to adjust to with the kids? Probably just having to be home on time whereas all the single guys in our club can wander home whenever! Seriously, nothing has really changed for me - the older you get the more you slow down. i wouldn't swap anything for the world. - John

What's the best part of your day with the kids? Mornings are great. Seeing the kids climb out of bed, giving them a cuddle and telling them you love them. You can’t beat it. - John

What’s your favourite family holiday location? Bali for us. Ace hasn’t been there yet and we are going over as a family in October. It’s a great place to relax in the sunshine. - John

What tasks does John carry out to help you with the kids? He cooks a good BBQ and is always helping around the house. He takes the kids to school and can hold the fort if need be. - Stacey

How does he keep in contact with the kids when he's away? Generally, by phone. John makes an effort to talk to them after every match. They don’t talk too much footy, just general stuff like how was your day and how was school and so on. - Stacey

What is the best thing dad does for you?
Dad is always there for Ace and me. He’s always making us laugh and is kind and caring - Pippi
Dad is funny, kind and good fun. We love him very much and he gets to play footy for Souths too! - Ace


Sports Dad of the Year 2019
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