Johnathon Thurston reduced to tears in emotional interview
After receiving rejection letter after rejection letter as a teenage footy player, Johnathan Thurston went on to become arguably one of Australia’s greatest ever NRL stars.
Now at the age of 35, Johnathan Thurston has decided to kick off his boots forever.
Tonight on 60 Minutes, Thurston looks back on a career bursting with both accolades and controversies and reveals how he made his successes on and off the field.
‘The Champion’ airs 8.30 on Channel 9 after The Block. For more on 60 Minutes, head to the official website.
Reporter Allison Langdon sits down with Thurston at the Townsville home he shares with wife Samantha and their three girls, Frankie, Charlie and Lillie – where he plays his most important role yet: as a dedicated family man and patient father.
“He's genuine, he wears his heart on his sleeve,” Samantha tells Langdon.
“He always puts family first.”
Johnathan Thurston has humble beginnings. Growing up in a housing commission home on the outskirts of Brisbane, he was obsessed with footy.
But he was the runt of the kid’s club team, and at one point making it to the big leagues seemed almost impossible.
His early rejection letters speak of his failings – too small, too skinny, not fast enough. But he would not give up on realising his NRL dreams.
“(Rejection) just made me more determined and made me put the blinkers on and not let anything get in my way,” he tells Langdon.
In an emotional interview, Thurston reflects on the highs and lows of his career, opening up about the triumphs of winning premierships and the heartache of losses and club controversies.
The first player to speak out exclusively on the 2004 Coffs Harbour rape scandal involving Canterbury Bulldogs players, Thurston sets the record straight only on 60 Minutes.
And Thurston lays it all on the line – breaking down in his most raw and emotional moment yet. What brings this footy star to tears?