Like most people in the media, I always considered Darius Boyd to be a bit of a jerk.
His arrogance and indifference while being interviewed often left a bad taste in many mouths – but with one random act of kindness, I have totally changed my opinion of the Queensland State of Origin great.
It all came about when I heard the story of Brock Gardner, a rising star at South Sydney who was promoted to the Rabbitohs’ top 30 squad this year.
Gardner, 21, was set to push for first grade before tragedy struck – he tore his Achilles tendon during a routine training run in January.
“I was devastated – I’d worked so hard and then for that to happen on the eve of the season – I thought my year was over,” Gardner, a powerhouse back-rower, told Wide World of Sports.
“I was at my lowest point after having surgery and then out of the blue, Darius Boyd called me.
“I’d never met him or spoken to him – but of course I knew who he was.
“He told me he did the same injury but worked and worked with the physios and medical staff and got himself right in five or six months. He said if you do the work, you will get the rewards and not to listen to people who said my season was done.
“Souths’ head of well being, Jan Earl, arranged it all and that really picked me up.
“I put my head down, spent hours and hours working with the medical staff and on my own every day and am running again now and hope to be back on the field in the next couple of months.
“What really impressed me was that this guy who has done it all in the game took time out to call me, even though he didn’t know me from a bar of soap.
“I know people have mixed opinions about Darius but to me, he will always be a hero and I can never thank him enough.”
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