St George Illawarra NRL coach Paul ‘Mary’ McGregor has become the first NRL coach to be nominated for the Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame following his recent arrest for drink-driving.
The former NSW and Kangaroos representative allegedly recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.063 in Wollongong recently.
“I’m obviously enormously proud to have been nominated for the award and maybe one day join the likes of Ben Cousins, Todd Carney and Joel Monaghan, who are already in the Hall of Fame” McGregor said.
“You think these awards are out of reach once you retire from playing, so when I decided to drive home intoxicated, I didn’t think anything would come of it.”
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
The St George Illawarra club released a short statement in response to the incident.
“The coach plays an enormous role in the shaping of the players, both as footballers and as young men, and for this reason we are very proud of Paul. Actions such as drink driving form the foundation of the culture of rugby league clubs and Paul’s recent actions have strengthened that culture here at the Dragons.”
This is the second Frownlow nomination for the Dragons in 2016, after young back Kurt Mann filmed a friend throwing a goanna and making a racist comment before posting the video on social media.