Footy star Latrell Mitchell is a big fan of a controversial ‘eshay’ who has developed a cult following on social media thanks to his hatred for police and authority.
Spanian, who proudly boasts to have spent more than a decade behind bars and 20 years on the mean streets of Sydney, even has his own website and online merchandise available to fans.
Polarising South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback Mitchell, who this week signed a new $1.6million deal which will tie him to the Redfern based club until 2023, is clearly one of those fans.
‘Bra just ordered up’ Mitchell wrote in a private message to the social media sensation, which was later shared to Spanian’s 135,000 plus social media followers with an accompanying screenshot of the handpicked merchandise.
Footy star Latrell Mitchell (pictured above) is a fan of social media sensation Spanian
Spanian (pictured above) is proudly anti-authority and has over 135,000 Instagram followers
Spanian shared a message from footy star Latrell Mitchell (pictured above) confirming his merchandise order
Some of the items included a T-shirt and hoodie with Spanian’s popular slogan Hood Oos.
The development comes as NRL players have been repeatedly warned and encouraged not to associate themselves with crime figures.
Spanian is prolific on social media, with a series of ‘insightful’ Instagram videos offering tips on how to dodge police when breaking and entering into houses.
He proudly sports tattoos on his back which read ‘f*** pigs, f*** God’.
The Sydney inner-city rapper has also become the willing poster boy for the worrying new wave of ‘eshays’ infiltrating Australia’s youth culture.
Eshays – or lads – have the same dress code as Spanian – notably distinctive stripey polo shirts from high-end sports labels such as Nautica and Lacoste.
Indigenous sporting leader Mitchell confirmed on Monday morning he will be staying at the Rabbitohs until at least the end of 2023.
Mitchell’s new deal is believed to be close to $800,000 a year, with the 23-year-old reportedly desperate to have his future sorted before round one of the upcoming NRL season.
The contract extension was despite Mitchell landing himself in hot water last year for hosting nearly a dozen others at his farm near Taree on the NSW mid-north coast in April, when a coronavirus travel ban was in place.
Mitchell was slapped with a hefty fine for breaching Covid-19 restrictions after photos of him and several men, including fellow NRL star Josh Addo-Carr, surfaced on social media.
He avoided conviction in November after pleading guilty to a firearms charge after the camping trip.
NRL star Latrell Mitchell has signed a $1.6million deal to stay at South Sydney for two more seasons
The 23-year-old NRL star is pictured with his partner Brielle
Mitchell also led calls for Advance Australia Fair to be scrapped and last month threw his support behind a new version of the anthem with lyrics that better reflect the nation’s indigenous cultures.
The NRL star is well-known for refusing to sing the national album pre-game with the NSW Blues during State of Origin matches.
The lyrics to Advance Australia Fair were slightly altered on New Year’s Day, changing the line ‘young and free’ to ‘one and free’ to reflect the nation’s Indigenous history.
Mitchell appears happy the controversy from 2020 did not derail his new deal, and is looking forward to two more lucrative years in South Sydney colours.
‘I’m really happy about staying here at Souths. It’s become home for me and my family,’ Mitchell said in a club statement.
Mitchell landed himself in hot water last year after photos emerged of him and nearly a dozen others at his farm near Taree on the New South Wales mid-north coast in April, when a coronavirus travel ban was in place
The fullback (pictured centre) confirmed on Monday morning he will be staying at the Rabbitohs until at least the end of 2023
‘I feel like we have a great squad of players here and top coaches and I’m really confident that we can achieve what we want to achieve in the coming seasons.
‘It’s a special club and a special group of players and it means a lot to me and my family to represent South Sydney.’
Souths boss Blake Solly believes Mitchell could be one of the game’s leading fullbacks, while captain Adam Reynolds says there was no reason why he couldn’t be the code’s best.
Mitchell himself didn’t shy away from the predictions, reminding critics he is now playing in his preferred position.
‘It’s going to take time,’ he said.
‘I was never a centre and I was the best centre in the game. I just want to focus on myself and my position and the sky is the limit.’
Mitchell (centre) of the Indigenous All Stars is seen during the Indigenous All Stars war-cry during the NRL match between the Indigenous All Stars and Maori All Stars at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, Saturday, February 20, 2021
Latrell Mitchell (pictured second from left) refusing to sing the national anthem during the State of Origin in 2019
Key to the new deal was Mitchell’s growing role in the Indigenous community at Redfern, with the Taree junior now one of the leading voices in the game in that important space.
But the Rabbitohs’ faith in Mitchell at fullback is a big part of his desire to stay.
He wanted the number one jersey before joining Souths last year, but was never going to wrestle the honour from Roosters game breaker James Tedesco.
Coach Wayne Bennett has heavily invested in Mitchell at fullback and he quickly repaid the faith, setting up 15 tries and chalked up 26 line-breaks in 14 games last season.
‘It’s been awesome for me, confidence wise,’ Mitchell said.
‘He (Bennett) has seen a lot of fullbacks in his time, so for him to back me is great.’
Souths boss Blake Solly believes Latrell Mitchell could be one of the game’s best fullbacks