From his sick Dad’s hospital bed to the NRL grand final: Billy Slater opens up about the turmoil gripping his family… as he reveals his plans for life after footy
- NRL star Billy Slater has opened up about the turmoil which is gripping his family
- He recently had to miss a crunch match to rush to his ailing father’s bedside
- His father was placed in an induced coma after struggling to breathe at home
- Slater’s Melbourne Storm take on the Sydney Roosters in the NRL grand final
Retiring rugby league star Bill Slater is set for a dramatic finish to his NRL career as he reveals the turmoil which has gripped his family in recent weeks.
Despite all the attention over his shoulder charge, the Melbourne Storm fullback has told of the impact his Dad’s recent health scare had on him in the lead-up to Sunday’s NRL grand final.
Slater was forced to miss a crunch match to rush to his father Ron’s bedside after he was placed in an induced coma after struggling to breathe while chopping down trees at home.
Retiring rugby league star Billy Slater (pictured left with wife Nicole) has opened up about the tumultuous moments that shaped his career as he prepares for his final NRL game on Sunday
Slater (centre) was forced to miss a crunch Premiership showdown against Penrith to rush to his father Ron’s (left) bedside three weeks ago
Ron later claimed he was lucky to have survived the recent ordeal.
Slater’s father said he has since given up cigarettes, having been a smoker for 50 years, but Slater described the close-call as a ‘difficult time’ for his family.
Slater said: ‘Thankfully he’s doing much better.
‘He was in hospital for a bit, but he’s back home and everything is looking good.’
The distance involved in the fullback’s desperate trip home to Queensland to be with his ailing father has been another issue for Slater and his family.
His wife Nicole told The Courier-Mail they had originally considered moving back to Queensland – where the father-of-two grew up and began his youth career.
The distance involved in the fullback’s desperate trip home to Queensland to be with his ailing father has been another issue for Slater and his family – but the retiring NRL star has made a home in Queensland as he sets up his own thoroughbred horse breeding ground
His wife Nicole told The Courier-Mail they had originally considered moving back to Queensland – where the father-of-two grew up and began his youth career (pictured second from left)
As he prepares to hang up his boots with a Grand Final swansong on Sunday, though, Slater is making sure he is ready to face the challenges that plague so many retiring sportsmen.
The Storm star, who considered a career as a jockey when he was 16, is currently building a breeding ground for racehorses on a vast plot in Victoria where he can pursue his childhood dreams.
Slater and his wife, who met through their shared love of horse racing, have set up a company called Slater Thoroughbreds and plan on devoting the rest of their lives to the pursuit.
The retiring footy star said: ‘I’m not just dipping my toe in – I am passionate about the industry and I want to breed the best possible horses.’