Support from the rugby league community is pouring in after news Maroons legend Carl Webb has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).
The former State of Origin forward played 187 NRL games for Brisbane, North Queensland and Parramatta, as well as one Test for Australia and 15 times for Queensland.
The Queensland Rugby League's Men of League Foundation announced on Thursday they were assisting the 38-year-old Webb to battle the irreversible disease that attacks the nervous system.
News of the sad development for the former hard-hitting forward has left the rugby league community shattered.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the 38-year-old.
Sucks about Carl Webb..MND 😢— Rob Death (@KnightkingYCBM) March 5, 2020
Oh that’s terrible. Sorry to hear that— G (@methead13) March 5, 2020
Devastating for Carl Webb. All the best you mad man.— Meat Axe (@macktruck81) March 5, 2020
This is terrible news for Carl Webb and his family. Good to see he is being given some help but a difficult road ahead no doubt https://t.co/DJafkIfDhZ— Phil Lutton (@phillutton78) March 5, 2020
Horrible news. All the best Carl.— Joseph Alafaci (@jalafaci) March 5, 2020
This is horrible news!— Rewster (@Rewster7) March 5, 2020
Terrible news. Thoughts and prayers with him and his family.— Jo (@JTB_30) March 5, 2020
Oh no, that is just heartbreaking, I loved watching him play, a true champion of the game. Just so sad to read that. I wish him all the best and prayers going his way.— Maureen Doyle (@Maureendoyle52) March 5, 2020
English league great also battling MND
Webb’s sad situation comes after English rugby league great Rob Burrow also announced he’d been diagnosed with MND at the age of 37.
Burrow, who at 165cm was the smallest player in Super League, retired after winning his eighth grand final at the end of the 2017 season - having played almost 500 games for Leeds Rhinos.
The 37-year-old father-of-three spent his entire career at Leeds, making 492 appearances, and also won 15 caps for England and five for Great Britain.
"Regrettably, I am confirming that I have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease," Burrow said in December last year.
"I would like to thank everyone for the support I have received already since being given my diagnosis.
"I know I have a big challenge in front of me but knowing that I have the love and support of so many people will give me inspiration and strength.
"I am very positive about the situation and intend to battle the condition as I still feel fit and well.
South African rugby union legend Joost van der Westhuizen passed away in 2017 after being diagnosed with the degenerative condition.
AFL great Neale Daniher is another whose battle with MND has been well publicised after being diagnosed with the disease in 2013.
The 59-year-old has been a driving force behind the Big Freeze, tirelessly raising funds for FightMND foundation.