Ben Barba's downfall; how did it come to this?

Yahoo!7 February 26, 2013, 8:06 am

A day after revelations of Ben Barba's personal problems shocked the rugby league world, details of how he fell so quickly from the top are beginning to come to light.

It has been revealed the final indicator that Barba's mind was elsewhere came last Saturday night, during a trial match against Canberra in Goulburn.

During the match, the Dally M Medalist told one of the team's trainers that he wanted to come off the field because he had no interest in playing.

It was the final straw and a sign that Barba needed help.

The incident in Goulburn came just days after Barba reportedly lashed out at teammate Tim Browne during a physical scrimmage at training. Fairfax is reporting Barba took exception to a challenge by Browne, and the altercation became physical.

Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg has stressed that rather than just one issue, Barba is struggling with "a range of different issues that stem from a breakdown in a family and personal relationship."

That relationship, with childhood sweetheart Ainslie Currie, ended late last year.

The couple has two children together and shared a house. Their split, combined with gambling and alcohol problems, sent Barba on a rapid downward spiral.

News Ltd is reporting the first serious indication that not all was well came last week when Barba requested a few days away from training.

It was around that time that Barba moved out of the house he shared with Currie.

"Moving out was a big thing," a friend told News Ltd.

"Suddenly Ben was on his own and I don't think he expected it to be so hard without the kids."

Things came to a head after the match in Goulburn.

On the bus trip home, Barba had a detailed conversation with Bulldogs coach Des Hasler and then called Greenberg on Sunday.

Barba reportedly became emotional at a meeting with Greenberg on Sunday, when both parties agreed the 23-year-old should be stood down.

"It became quite serious to me over this weekend," Greenberg said.

"We've been talking to him a lot ... over the last 24-48 hours it became significant enough for me to take the action.

"(It was) not so much an incident, just a manifestation of a lot of issues that have been in his life over a period of time.

News Ltd is reporting that around the time of Barba's break-up with Currie, he became close to the group Epic Bender Crew (EBC).

The EBC are a tight group of mates from Sydney's Sutherland area who party their way through most weekends.

Barba became so tight with the group that he got a tattoo on his stomach with the letters EBC.

Meanwhile, Barba's mother says she's confident her son will make a full recovery.

"He will pull through this. He will be OK," she told News Ltd.

"He hasn't hurt anyone or anything like that. He's going through some personal problems and they are his to work through.

"There's a few relationship breakdowns in his life and there's issues he has to work through with the club.

"There's a lot that's happened to him recently."

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  1. LeighSydneyChina04:16pm Thursday 28th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Islam is about as useful as putting salt over your shoulder...ALL religions are just superstitious rubbish... and sprouting religious platitudes helps nobody.... So, Areel.. keep your demented religious #$%$ to yourself

  2. Areel08:46pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Islam is the BEST !! Allahu Akbar !!!! Kindest regards Areel

  3. Areel08:41pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    This gentleman has too much money and not enough sense. He needs a good manager and a life long friend. Mr Ben , I give you Allah and the teachings of the prophet Muhammed ( pbuh ) . Islam will save you !!!! Kindest regards Areel

    1 Reply
  4. Areel08:37pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Alcohol is evil and is the liquid of the devil. It is the cause of marriage breakdowns , financial problems , work related issues , unwanted pregnancies and the main cause of sexually transmitted diseases. Ban alcohol and you save people's lives !!!! Alcohol is not permitted in Islam. I ask every Australian to turn their back on this juice of satan. Kindest regards Areel

    1 Reply
  5. Areel08:34pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    A conversion to the truth of Islam will solve ALL HIS PROBLEMS ! Allahu Akbar !!!! Kindest regards Areel

  6. Craig07:52pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    What a kook hanging out with guys with manicured eyebrows that wear there sisters T-shirts out to the pub!Some Sydney party group what a legend,earning $20.000 plus a week and he blows it to hang out and party with the so called cool crew!There are guys out there who would give anything to be in his shoes sports wise.Then he gets the tattoo on facebook your the man Benny boy.

  7. Terry07:20pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Storm rulz

  8. John Swain07:07pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Same old story. Too big an ego,no self confidence to run his own life ,too much time on their hands,they should pray to God for guidance instead they praise the highly all mighty GROG to keep their egos up in the clouds, their money should be protected from them So typical of blacks they want to go walkabout when they feel the need .Football isn't a way of life for them. Its a means to an end. I truly feel sorry for his family because this is really rocky road ahead for them probabaly several years

  9. robert07:05pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    He'll be playing for Queensland in a few out !!!

  10. glen06:14pm Tuesday 26th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Make no mistake . There is a very dirty, political smear campaign being waged upon Sport in general . And Male sport specifically . How quickly were the Olympic swim team separated into genders recent criticism surfaced ? The women were immediately elevated to judge and jury with Leisel Jones parroting the old " Boys Will Be Boys " line and Seibom being wheeled out to reveal the " shocking " fact that her room phone was rung at 11 pm and " not 10.30"as claimed by the "stupid boys ". Please !!!!!!!