1. The “extremely tough” phone call that broke Johnathan Thurston.
It was his wife Samantha. She was calling to break the news his uncle had been murdered in a park.
Thurston has spoken about finding out about his uncle’s murder for the first time in an interview with 60 Minutes.
“That was extremely tough, tough phone call to receive,” Thurston explained before breaking down.
“I’ve never spoken to anyone about it. This is the first time I’ve spoken about it so it’s just bringing all those memories back.”
His uncle Richard Saunders was bashed to death by a group of eight men who were subsequently jailed for crimes such as striking Saunders with a hammer, stomping and punching.
Saunders died and two others were hospitalised after a minor altercation escalated into a brawl.
Thurston ran out against Fiji just days later and won man-of-the-match.
“I know he would’ve been up there smiling down, proud as punch,” he said.
Thurston also spoke about the 2004 Coffs Harbour rape scandal that nearly derailed his career, before it had even begun.
According to Thurston’s memoir, Johnathan Thurston: The Autobiography, an unnamed woman allegedly “slept with six” Bulldogs players at the team’s hotel on the Wednesday night.