Manly great Steve Matai has made his first public comment following reports he had disappeared.
The star centre, widely known as the modern game’s greatest “hit man”, posted a message to clear up reports his former teammates were concerned for him after he went radio silent in recent times.
According to an original report in The Daily Telegraph, the 36-year-old’s friends have been unable to track him down, with suggestions he has turned his back on the game following his retirement.
“Several of his premiership-winning teammates have tried to bring him back into the fold without success and have even gone to his town on the north coast where he lives, but to no avail,” ex-Manly official Peter Peters said.
“I have no idea why he has chosen to shut his door on his great career and teammates but he will always be welcome at Manly.”
Manly’s Steve Matai.Source:News Corp Australia
However, Matai’s statement shot down the reports and claimed he has simply moved on with his life after a glittering career that included two premierships with Manly.
“People know that I choose to live my life the way I want to and I have no concerns about how other people think I should live my life or who I should be in contact with,” Matai said.
“Yes I am a very private person – I don’t have social media and it is factual that I am not a fan of the cameras and limelight.
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“All I wanted to do was play footy. I gave everything I had when I crossed that white chalk – mind and body.
“My style of play is a testament to that ‘run hard, tackle harder, never back down’… I am a life member – whether I am still connected to the club at this present time or not.
“Please respect my privacy and the way I want to live my life. I am living happily and enjoying life in our community with my beautiful wife and children.
“Accept this and move on.”
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