A chance meeting in torrential rain at Lottoland has today led a young Manly fan to meet one of his idols in Sea Eagles Coach Des Hasler.
When heavy rain lashed Lottoland in the first half of the round two match between the Sea Eagles and the Sydney Roosters on March 23, thousands of fans charged up the stairs of the Fulton-Menzies Stand looking for protection from the wind and the rain.
One of them was a passionate Sea Eagles Member named Joe, a 19-year-old with a rare genetic syndrome, who was at the game with his Pop, Martin.
In between the mayhem, Mathew Sterland, owner of Prestige Roofing & Cladding Supplies in Brookvale, saw Joe and Martin getting very wet near his corporate box.
Noticing Joe’s passion and great support of the Sea Eagles, Mathew invited them into his corporate box.
“Joe just loves his Sea Eagles. After the game, we took Joe down to meet Daly Cherry-Evans through a mutual friend,’’ Mat said.
“He enjoyed meeting Daly but kept asking where Des was, and why I couldn’t get him over. Joe just adores Des.”
Upon hearing of the kind gesture by Mathew, the Sea Eagles arranged for Joe to be a special guest at Manly training at Narrabeen where he finally got to meet Des.
“Des is the best coach we’ve ever had and he won us premierships in 2008 and 2011,’’ an excited Joe said.
“It was great by the club to bring him back. I think he can get us to the grand final and take us all the way again.
“I have always liked Des. He is very smart. I also find him very funny too.”
Having spent some time with Joe, Des then gave him a big surprise by inviting Joe to lead the Sea Eagles team out at a home game at Lottoland.
“I will be singing ‘Eagle Rock’ when I run out with the boys. I can’t wait,’’ Joe said.
The Sea Eagles wish Joe all the very best and look forward to seeing him at Lottoland soon.