There are many people who like to knock actors who show an interest in sports, and accuse them of using sport to increase their profile. Russell Crowe is not one of those, having ploughed money into South Sydney Rugby League club. But on the weekend he showed that he is a man of substance, and we are not talking financial substance.
Prior to the game against Manly at the weekend, a pre-season warm up game, Crowe walked to the Southern end of Redfern Oval and handed new recruit Sam Burgess, something that reduced the new signing to tears.
Crowe had handed Burgess a club membership card in the name of Burgess’s father who lost his battle with Motor Neurone disease in 2007. Burgess’s father was given this posthumous honour at the club where son Sam will keep a promise he made to his father, to play in the NRL. Burgess senior was a former league player and coach in the north of England.
The card also had some motivational quotes that Burgess senior had used in his coaching days, researched by Crowe who was behind the whole gesture.
Sam had nursed his father through the latter stages of his illness, and the move to Australia to play for the Rabbitohs was the chance to honour a promise to his father. Crowe by recognising the importance of the move, and acknowledging the importance of Mark Burgess on the club’s newest recruit, should make Sam feel he is part of the family at Souths, and showed a sentimentality and feeling so oft missing in these days of large pay packets.
If you crow about something you are said to be proud of it and openly so. Rabbitohs fans you should Crow about your owner and his gesture at the weekend.