Steve Morris reveals how career-ending injury to his son Brett left him shattered
Steve Morris reveals how career-ending injury to his son Brett left him shattered

‘Like a death in the family’: Morris’ left shattered by injury

The famous footballing father of Brett Morris has described the Roosters winger's sudden and heartbreaking retirement as feeling "like a death in the family."

And in an emotional interview with News Corp, Steve Morris said he broke down in tears watching Brett crumple to the ground in agony and then again on the phone to his son on Sunday morning.

Steve was so upset, he hung up on Brett.

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Josh Morris consoles his brother Brett after he picked up a career-ending injury.
Josh Morris consoles his brother Brett after he picked up a career-ending injury.

"I couldn't talk," Steve said.

Steve, who scored 122 first grade tries for St George and Easts, watched in horror as Brett sustained a career-ending ACL injury in the Roosters match against Newcastle last Saturday night.

An hour after full time, with son Josh hugging a shattered Brett in the Roosters dressing room, a gutted Steve sent a text message to oldest son Scott and eldest child Amy, saying: "It feels like a death in the family."

Steve and Brett also exchanged text messages that night.

The following day, Steve rang Brett to express his sadness but began crying and ended the call.

An hour later, Brett rang back and Steve, feeling more composed, discussed the injury and Brett's stellar career.

"It was really weird," Steve, 63, said.

 

"It hit everyone. I was watching at home and had tears in my eyes and I'm sure anyone with family would have felt the same way.

"I rang him up the next day and I lost it and told him I'd have to ring him back. I couldn't talk.

"When Josh put his arm around Brett in the dressing room, that was the sign there was something serious going on. It was pretty emotional.

"Brett has been around so long at a high level and plays with such intensity. People who love rugby league would all relate to that. Brett and Josh are so close."

Steve said limited hearing prevented him hearing Brett's on-field screams of agony after sustaining the knee injury.

"I was in the lounge room by myself watching it and later on my daughter said: 'Couldn't you hear him screaming?' I could see he was in agony but I couldn't hear it. I'm glad I couldn't.

"Brett was in a lot of pain. People don't realise. There was an aftermath. His knee was pretty bad.

 

"They have both had that many operations in their careers, both had shoulder reconstructions, both had three or four operations each. They have a few nuts and bolts in them - they couldn't walk through the airport.

"They both put so much effort in and have been at the top for so long. It's a hard life, it's a hard game, it's not easy. The commitment they have shown to the game and their teams has been unbelievable.

"You couldn't fault them. They've done very well. There have been a few sets of brothers to go through but not twins. Brett has achieved everything."

Steve insisted Brett wanted to enter coaching.

"I think he wants to do something around footy. I was talking to him the other day and he was pretty keen on getting some sort of coaching role," Steve said.

"I'm sure he will be with the Roosters for the rest of this year, following Josh and helping out around the place. I think the Roosters still have a good team, they are still a good chance, even without Brett." 

 

The player who stood tallest in Roosters' time of need

 

- Fatima Kdouh

 

Sydney Roosters enforcer Jared Wearea-Hargreaves has revealed he wanted the side to skip a day off and immediately return to training in a bid to galvanize the squad in the wake of two more crushing injuries at Bondi.

To stop younger teammates from over thinking the club's latest ACL injury setback, which ended the decorated career of Brett Morris and season of rising forward Linsday Collins, Wearea-Hargreaves wanted to bring the team together at Moore Park on Sunday.

"We sat in the sheds and had a beer together," Waerea-Hargreaves said.

 

"I actually wanted to come into training yesterday but we had the day off … you don't want to leave the group in those times, you want to stay together and hang out.

"I think today we'll be having a few coffees.

"Sometimes you feel like rugby league can be a cruel sport. We have copped a few injuries these last few weeks, months. We have a lot of young guys sitting in a room, they don't really know the highs and the lows of rugby league so for us it's making clear, whatever we are doing, we do together."

On Monday, coach Trent Robinson revealed 'complete silence' fell over the most 'sombre' Roosters dressing in Newcastle in the aftermath of the costly 38-4 win over the Knights.

That silence was broken when an emotional Morris addressed his teammates and then again when Waerea-Hargreaves stood tall to rally the side in the aftermath of yet another cruel injury blow.

"Whatever path we are on, we stay united and have each other's back … whether you are playing or whether you are not playing, it's what we do here. We fight for everything. Whatever challenge is ahead, we get on with the job," Waerea-Hargreaves said to teammates in the sheds at full-time.

Before addressing his troops, Waerea-Hargreaves had rushed to be by the side of Collins, who made his Origin debut last year, as the 25-year old learned his season was over.

 

"I went up the sheds and comforted him a bit, I just wanted to be there and support him," Waerea-Hargreaves said.

"I told him to hold his head high, which is what he did, and to not over think it, just chill.

"The big fella, he had been leading from the front for us. He's a massive loss but it gives an opportunity for someone else to come in and do a job. He was playing some fantastic footy."

After Jake Friend's retirement and with Boyd Cordner (concussion) and Luke Keary (ACL) sidelined, Waerea-Hargreaves now stands as the longest-serving Rooster in coach Trent Robinson's outfit.

The 245-game veteran knows his experience will be called on to help the Roosters navigate through this "tough" period.

Robinson will also draw on the experience of Brett Morris, a 276-game veteran, to guide the side's outside backs over the course of the season.

Lachlan Lam is close to returning for the Roosters.
Lachlan Lam is close to returning for the Roosters.

"Absolutely, no doubt he will (be around). He said he ain't going anywhere, I think it is four weeks until he gets the operation but he will be around for sure," Waerea-Hargreaves said.

"He brings the knowledge of the game, he's like a dinosaur, he's been around forever.

"(The injury) gives an opportunity for Matt Ikuvalu to go out and play a few minutes. But the knowledge, the communication that Brett brings throughout the week … I guess he can still do that. He just won't be out there on the weekends."

While Collins joins the Keary, Cordner, Freddy Lussick (arm) and Billy Smith (shoulder) in the Roosters casualty ward, Robinson is expected to receive a boost ahead of Friday's blockbuster against Parramatta with the return of fullback James Tedesco. Lachlan Lam (knee) is also edging closer to a return.

Originally published as 'Like a death in the family': Morris' left shattered by injury



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