The dying of South Sydney legend John Sattler at age 80 has left the rugby league group heartbroken.
Referred to as one of many hardest males to ever play within the NSWRL, Sattler captained Souths to 4 premierships between 1967 and 1971.
The powerful as nails front-rower put his physique on the road over and over for his membership with no extra brutal second than throughout the 1970 Grand Remaining.
Within the opening 10 minutes Sattler was struck by Manly’s John Bucknall in a punch so vicious it shattered his jaw in three locations.
Regardless of the ugly harm, Sattler performed out the sport and saved the harm hidden from his teammates as he led them to glory.
However as we’ve sadly come to see in recent times, gamers from these generations have been left with life-altering well being situations.
Sattler’s well being deteriorated badly in recent times as he suffered a stroke after which battled dementia.
His son Scott, additionally an NRL nice, has now mentioned his legendary father’s last days in an interview with Information Corp.
The premiership winner with the Panthers stated he all the time thought his dad was “indestructible” – till he acquired a sombre name from the aged-care facility the place his dad lived final weekend.
“Together with his dementia, Dad had stopped consuming and consuming,” Scott instructed Information Corp.
“I noticed him final week and he was very imprecise. I believed he could be a kind of guys who would hold battling away till his 90s.
“(On Sunday) he was laying in mattress and abruptly he put his head again and went into deep respiratory.
“They gave him some morphine (on Monday morning), then I received the decision from the aged-care facility saying, ‘Scott, you higher get right here’.
“I rushed in and he was simply respiratory actually deeply, like he was taking his final breaths.
“He couldn’t discuss. He was simply taking deep quick breaths.
“I used to be holding his hand for about seven or eight minutes after which he took yet another breath and immediately I felt his pulse was no extra.
“Dad was gone.”
Scott has beforehand spoken about his father’s rapidly-declining well being, saying his dad was paying the value for enjoying throughout a brutal period of rugby league.
“Dad was identified formally final yr with dementia,” Scott instructed the The Every day Telegraph in 2021.
“I’ve all the time suspected for lots longer that he was affected by reminiscence loss.
“I’ve little question the punishment dad copped throughout his profession has performed a job in his well being in the present day. He suffered a stroke just a few years in the past and that’s additionally an element.
“It’s unhappy to see, what I’d give to have the ability to sit and discuss rugby league like we used to for hours.
“I’ll by no means get that once more, that is the impact of rugby league.”
The NRL solely not too long ago modified protocols surrounding concussion with a brand new mandate that may pressure gamers to overlook two rounds in the event that they’re discovered to have suffered a concussion.
The league is going through its most important shake-up to concussion protocols in years — coming simply in the future after the AFL was rocked by a landmark class motion lawsuit.
The NRL has been underneath hearth for its dealing with of concussions and head accidents to start out the 2023 season, headlined by Bulldogs soccer boss Phil Gould’s public declaration one a part of the coverage is an “abomination”.
Probably the most critical concern surrounds the way forward for Newcastle famous person Kalyn Ponga after he was pressured from the sector in each of his workforce’s video games this season after taking a head knock.
There was hypothesis Ponga may even be pressured right into a untimely retirement on account of a sequence of head accidents he has suffered in recent times.
The NRL is now taking vital motion to safeguard gamers going through comparable conditions.
The Australian Rugby League Fee has confirmed reviews it’s now aligned with the AFL and world rugby in introducing a compulsory 11-day stand down interval for concussed gamers.
Sadly these adjustments matter little to gamers from Sattler’s period who’ve come ahead to element their coronary heart breaking well being battles.
Fellow South Sydney nice Mario Fenech left the NRL world in shock when he revealed the brutal extent of his dementia battle.
The previous NSW State of Origin star was identified with early onset dementia seven years in the past and is believed to be affected by power traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a mind situation attributable to repeated blows to the top. The situation can solely be formally identified autopsy through post-mortem.
He revealed on Channel 7’s Highlight that his reminiscence has been badly affected. He stated in 2016 he had begun to battle with the impacts of mind injury and had begun to take dementia medicine.
He stated on the time he had no regrets about his profession.
“Rugby league on this technology is much more safer than once I performed,” he stated.
“However in saying that I wouldn’t change a factor. I actually loved my 15 yr problem of taking part in Rugby League and loved my time at Souths and it was brutal in these days however that’s the way in which it was.”