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‘The presence and the pride in his face spoke volumes to us’: Stan Grant pays tribute to Greg Inglis

Greg Inglis will be remembered as one of Rugby League’s most athletically gifted players as well as being an indigenous role model who inspired his people says renowned journalist and tragic Souths fan Stan Grant.

“He had everything, the speed, the athleticism, the strength, and that rare ingredient that all great players have – Thurston, Smith, Lewis, Sterling had it, Joey Johns of course – the awareness of the game, they could play it at their pace, they could slow it down and play it at the place they wanted to,” Grant tells David Morrow and Matt Thompson.

“He’s one of the most spectacular players, and as an Indigenous person, he was someone who represented us and gave us an incredible sense of pride, that’s how I’ll remember him.”

Upon news of Inglis’ retirement, Morrow declared he was the best player of the past 20 years and it’s a claim Stan Grant finds hard to disagree with.

“If he’s not, there’s none better, and the memory he leaves us with and the images he leaves us with are probably greater than any other player,

“If you think about Greg Inglis, the memories and the moments he leaves us with, those spectacular tries, that incredible athleticism and speed, there’s no one I think who has left us with the show-reel that he has.”

Stan Grant is a Wiradjuri man from Griffith, an eminent thought leader and a proud advocate for Indigenous causes in Australia, and he believes Greg Inglis is poised to take that next step into leadership away from the footy field.

“I think what we’re going to see now is Greg, as someone who has made a mark in football, who has committed to his community, who wants to make a difference, who has listened and is now ready to take that next step into real leadership both in and outside of the game,

“The image that encapsulates that for me is that remarkable moment during one of the indigenous all stars game, when all the boys stood around him, they launched the chant and when they ducked down, standing in the middle was G.I, he didn’t have to say a word, the presence of that man and the pride in his face spoke volumes to us.”

Inglis’ retirement, along with Johnathan Thurston’s at the end of last season, means the game has bid goodbye to serious star power; two high profile Indigenous leaders whose names fit comfortably on the list of the best to ever grace the field.

“To think that we’ve farewelled two players who could easily be immortals, two absolute legends of the game in J.T and G.I, I don’t think we have ever seen for any other player such warmth and affection that we’ve seen for these two players, and it speaks to the presence of indigenous players in the game and the quality of those individuals,

“They’ve left a legacy for all these other young indigenous players to follow.”

Click PLAY to hear Stan Grant pay tribute to Greg Inglis:

MORROW & THOMPSON
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