Adam Maher was a stalwart at Easts Tigers in the 1990s; a robust backrower would bleed for the black and gold at the old Langlands Park where he would do battle with the other BRL clubs each week.
While Maher was just like any other ordinary young Tiger back in the day who had a healthy appetite for rugby league, what stood out was his ability to put his body on the line for the Tigers and never stop to that final whistle.
Off the field, he always had a smile on his face when rocked up to games, especially when he was in the company of his teammates.
But when he put his Tiger’s jersey on, he was like a different character.
> Read Mike Simpson’s fan tribute to Adam here >> The Tiger still roars
Sadly, Maher is currently battling with motor neuron disease – a shock for someone who has had such an active life and is only in his mid-40s.
It’s a crushing blow not only for him, but his family; his wife Trudy and children and for his friends and former team mates.
Those team mates include players not only from Easts, but also from his time at other clubs, including the Cronulla Sharks.
He would become part of what was a long line of other Tigers players to wear the Blue, White and Black alongside Paul Green, Geoff Bell and Andrew Neave to mention but a few.
From there, he then headed to the newly formed UK team Gateshead Thunder in 1999.
Playing alongside the likes of Kerrod Walters, Ian Herron, Deon Bird, David Maiden and Brian Carney; Maher was suited to the game in the UK with his tireless work rate and his ability to match it with the English on home soil.
In 26 appearances for Gateshead, Maher scored three tries for a total of 12 points and his backrow quality was a major asset as the Thunder won 17 games with a 65%-win ratio.
However, it would be the iconic Super League club Hull FC that Maher would really make his mark.
He made 100 club appearances and went on to not only become a crowd favourite on the terraces, but also earn huge respect in both hemispheres for his achievements as a player and clubman.
Maher’s courage with the MND illness that he is currently battling is just like his courage on the field – there is no doubting that he is a fighter.
How he has approached the past few years battling the condition has won him many new admirers for his courage in adversity.
He played virtually his entire career with his heart on his sleeve and he was and still is, a great example of what a great rugby league player should be on the pitch. He was simply a warrior.
Off it, he was full of life, full of fun and to everybody that knows him, he still holds these qualities in a person regardless of the mountain he is climbing.
- Tomorrow night (Friday, February 22), Wynnum Manly Seagulls Leagues Club will host a fundraising dinner to assist Adam and his family. While tickets to the dinner are sold out, those who want to donate to Adam and his family can still do so via the website >> Adam Maher Fundraiser