Mark Geyer lifts lid on 'emotional' moment he learned son Mavrik was making NRL debut

The Panthers legend's son will make his NRL debut for Penrith against the Roosters on Thursday night.

Penrith Panthers legend Mark Geyer says he "choked up" upon learning his son Mavrik was making his NRL debut for his former team. The 23-year-old has been named on the bench for the Panthers' Thursday night clash with the Sydney Roosters, replacing the injured Scott Sorensen.

The Geyer name is royalty in Penrith, with Mark winning the competition with them in 1991. Panthers pride also runs through the veins of his extended family, with Mark married to the sister of Ben and Greg Alexander. Greg played 197 games for Penrith while his younger brother Ben played in 36 games for the Panthers before tragically losing his life in a car accident in June 1992.

Pictured left Mavrik Geyer and right with his father Mark Geyer
Panthers legend Mark Geyer says he is so proud of his son Mavrik, who will make his NRL debut this weekend. Image: Getty/Instagram

Geyer revealed on his Triple M radio show Mick and MG, which he co-hosts with Mick Molloy, that when his son rang to inform him that he was making his first-grade debut, his immediate concern was if the phone call was being recorded. "It was on Sunday because he was at a recovery session as he played for the NSW Cup on the Saturday," Geyer said on Triple M.

"He got replaced early that game which was strange as he normally played 80 minutes. My wife Meagan said that they might be bringing him off the play first grade. So on Sunday I was laying in the lounge room with my Meagan, and my Mum and Mav rang.

"1000 things went through my mind, but one of the things was that this could be Mav and they (Penrith) could be recording (the phone call) so I kind of sat up and went, ‘Hello mate!’, and he goes, ‘Dad they aren’t recording, you can talk normally’. So I said ‘thank F.’"


Ahead of his son's debut, Geyer said his family is "immensely proud" of him and admitted he became deeply emotional when he heard Mavrik talking about following in his father's footsteps in a video uploaded to the Panthers' social media accounts. "We don’t often talk about Ben because it was a really sad part of our lives, so as soon as he started talking about Ben, I choked up," Geyer said. "The synergy that he brought as a kid with him wearing that family jersey every time he runs out, it meant so much to me."

Geyer and 'Brandy' will be there to present Mavrik with his jersey and the former NRL tough guy says he is readying himself to hold in the tears. "When we hand him his jersey today, it’s going to be one of those moments where I’m trying to tell myself 'just don’t cry, be strong'," he said.

"It’s only a first-grade game and rugby league, but it means so much to us because it’s the club that made me who I am today. As soon as they were announced yesterday, we started getting calls from people… so we’ve got about 90 people going on buses. We’ve got shirts made up, we’ve got tickets. It’s amazing."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Mavrik Geyer of the Panthers is tackled during the NRL Trial Match between the Penrith Panthers and the Cronulla Sharks at CommBank Stadium on February 20, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)
Mavrik Geyer was upgraded to a top 30 contract last year after being one of the most consistent performers in lower grades. (Brett Hemmings via Getty Images)

Despite revealing Mavrik has had to overcome a range of injuries over the past couple of seasons, Geyer says he has done everything to prove his worth and push for a spot. Mavrik turned down offers in the past from other clubs including the Storm, to remain at Penrith so he could make his NRL debut for the team his father played 135 games for and Geyer said he couldn't be more stoked.

"I told him, you know you'd be playing first grade if you left Penrith," Geyer said. "But he said 'Dad, That's why I'm staying here- because I don't want to play first grade for any other club'."

Liam Martin says Panthers teammates are excited for Mavrik Geyer's debut

Penrith's Liam Martin says the whole team are excited for Mavrik to make his debut, stating he is one of the most loved members of the squad. "Everyone loves Mav. He’s honestly the best guy, so to see him get his opportunity is going to be really exciting. He’s already asking everyone for tickets, so I think half of Penrith will be at Allianz,” he said.

"He’s probably the perfect example of biding your time and working hard off the field. This pre-season has been his best by far. He’s probably been the best trainer we’ve had this pre-season. He’s worked hard for it and deserves every bit of it."

Geyer, who last year re-signed with Penrith until the end of 2025, has been one of the club's most consistent performers in the lower grades for the past few seasons. He was upgraded to a top-30 contract at the end of last year.