Former Newcastle Knights fullback Robbie O'Davis has opened up on his devastating health battle with concussion and recalled a sad moment involving his daughter.

In his playing days, O'Davis was near untouchable in the number one jersey and played a prominent role in the Newcastle Knights claiming their two premierships in 1997 and 2001. 

From 1992 to 2004, he played in 223 first-grade games for the Newcastle Knights, scoring 403 points and earning honours for both Queensland (12 games) and Australia (8 Tests) during his time as a player. He is arguably recognised as one of the best fullbacks of all time to ever grace the Knights jersey.

Nowadays, the former representative fullback is battling symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a brain disease that continually gets worse and is connected with repeated traumatic brain injuries and dementia due to his time playing rugby league.

This has seen Robbie O'Davis not only not remember the peak of his playing career but also forget simple things on a daily basis. Speaking on 7NEWS Spotlight, his wife, Louise O'Davis, recalled a sad moment involving him and their daughter. This depicts how much of an issue it is playing on him in his daily life.

“It's frustrating, but it's also upsetting,” Louise told Spotlight.

“Robbie forgot to pick up one of the kids this week from drama and I had spoken to him at 3.30 in the afternoon and he said ‘I'm leaving work now and I'll be on my way'.

“Then my daughter rang and said ‘no one is here to pick me up'.”

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“I was a little man in a big man's game so my height level was ducking through (opposition players) forearms and it was a habit of seeing stars, getting hit and seeing stars,” Robbie said.

“I was buzzing with these stars and people were cheering. It became an addiction.

“If I don't see stars and don't run that hard, I'm not having a go and not having a good game.”

In the interview, O'Davis was quizzed about if he remembers anything about the days he won the 1997 and 2001 Grand Final with the likes of Andrew Johns, Matthew Johns, Timana Tahu, Matthew Gidley, Danny Buderus, Ben Kennedy and Paul Harragon.

“All I remember is that I played for a good team, played for a town,” he replied.

“Even watching the grand finals now, I've watched them that many times, I can't remember doing them.”

As depression and mood swings are symptoms of CTE, O'Davis revealed that he contemplated the same suicide attempt while sitting on the edge of a cliff six times.

‘I sat on the edge drinking a carton of beer and I'd throw one over the edge and I'd watch it and it'd break and I'd think ‘I'll follow it',” Robbie said as he was brought to tears.

“24 would go down pretty easily, and then I would pull back in life, my kids pulled me back.

“Six times I had a crack at that and the only reason I wouldn't get help is because I was littering, the most stupidest thing.

“I didn't want anyone to know I was a litterer. Aboriginal man throwing litter all over his country.”

Readers seeking support can contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

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Robbie O'Davis isn't the only former rugby league player who is fighting the effects of concussions they sustained during their playing career. His wife, Louse is one of many wives and girlfriends that speak to each other regarding their partner's medical health.

“I'm not crying, because I promised myself I'm not going to, but she (Dr Rowena Mobbs, one of Australia's leading concussion and CTE experts) said that he (Robbie) has one of the worst brain scans that she's seen,” she said during a group session with the wives and girlfriends.

“I'm tired and run down as well, and I feel like nothing I do is ever right or good enough.

“And also we want answers, we want answers from the NRL. We understand the game has new protocols in place and they're doing what they can now but that doesn't help what happened back then.”

The NRL is setting up the Life After Football Foundation to help cover the cost of an annual brain scan and fund medical expenses for all former players.

Readers seeking support can contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.