Corey Parker's shocking new confession as NRL great's wife elaborates on brain damage fears

The Broncos and Maroons legend has provided new details on the sad situation.

Corey Parker and his wife have provided new details after the NRL great admitted earlier this year that he's certain he has brain damage from his playing career. Parker played 347 games for the Brisbane Broncos and 19 State of Origin matches for Queensland, as well as 13 Test matches for Australia.

He is now a popular commentator and analyst on Fox League, but the 42-year-old's playing career has taken a toll. In February, Parker revealed he has "no doubt" he has the brain disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) - which is commonly found in deceased athletes who played contact sports.

CTE can only be properly diagnosed after death, but Parker is certain he's suffering from it. "I have no doubt whatsoever over my tenure as a rugby league player that I have symptoms, I have symptoms of CTE," he said in February. But it's something that you can't really get a grasp on until obviously post-mortem. You can try and manage different things, but the damage is done isn't it."

Corey Parker and wife Margaux at the Dally M awards.
Corey Parker and wife Margaux. Image: AAP/Getty

In an interview with The Courier Mail on Saturday, Parker and wife Margaux both elaborated on the situation and revealed some of the symptoms he suffers from. Parker revealed he's forgotten large chunks of his NRL career, while Margaux said he sometimes finds himself in places without knowing how he got there.

“I have some brain damage, absolutely,” Parker said. "I haven’t had any tests or brain scans. But the scans would already reinforce what I believe I have in my own head anyway.

“Memory loss is something I suffer,” he says. “One of my good mates is Michael Ennis and Mick has great retention. Some people can recall things from a game in 1965, but my recollection of things from my entire 16-year career is very small.

“I played so many games that it can be a blur, I guess, but I will see old footage on TV of some games and I think, ‘Wow, I played with that guy, was he out there?’ I’m aware of my issues. I don’t try and fight it. I send myself text messages and reminders on this and that so I don’t forget things.”

Corey Parker and Michael Ennis.
Corey Parker and Michael Ennis before an NRL game in 2017.
Corey Parker with his wife and four kids in 2017.
Corey Parker with his wife and four kids after a State of Origin game in 2017.

Parker said he sometimes finds himself snapping at his kids for no reason and wonders if it's due to what's going on with his brain. Wife Margaux, a popular radio presenter on Triple M in Brisbane, said Parker definitely has some "restriction with thought processing."

Margaux made the concerning admission that her husband will often get up in the middle of the night and not know where he is. “It’s like he is sleepwalking because he is not aware of what he is doing," she said.

“At night, he will get up and not know where he is or what room he is in. When he talks, it won’t always make sense to the conversation we’ve just had. He will wake up to go to the bathroom and he has found himself down the hallway in the lounge room."

Corey Parker and wife Margaux.
Corey Parker and wife Margaux in 2017.


Parker's admission comes amid a time when awareness around concussion and CTE is as heightened as ever. Legendary figures Wally Lewis, Mario Fenech, Paul Green, Steve Folkes and Steve Mortimer have all suffered issues in recent years caused by repeated head knocks during their careers.

Lewis, who is suffering from a form of dementia, recently called on the federal government for an $18 million investment towards support services and education about CTE. "It's a journey marked by the twin shadows of fear and embarrassment, a journey through the fog of dementia and the erosion of my memory," he said. "I once had the confidence in myself to succeed, lead a team to victory, captain my country, remember the strengths and weaknesses of opposition teams, organise myself each and every day and feel well and truly in control of my everyday life. Now, much of that confidence has been taken away from me by the effects of probable CTE dementia."