SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: Josh Jackson of the Bulldogs looks dejected after a Dragons try during the round 14 NRL match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on June 11, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

You don’t need me to tell you just how badly it’s gone for the Bulldogs since they played their last game in Round 25 against the Cronulla Sharks.

The Dogs spent the end of the season on the up, with some encouraging performances being put in against the Warriors and the Dragons. They had the opportunity to blood new talents such as Rhyse Martin, Reimis Smith and Lachlan Lewis.

Promise was being shown for 2019, things were up at Belmore.

Then came the disaster of the Mad Monday celebrations on the terrace of the Harbour View Hotel. Whether you view it as indecent from the players, or intrusive from the media, it cannot be denied that the club suffered as a result of the event.

They were fined, and the reputation of the club was damaged incredibly. The rugby league spotlight was drawn away from the closest finals series in history, and towards the disrepute the Bulldogs players had brought to the game.

Then came the dark cloud over their new signing Dylan Napa. The ‘Big Papi’ story has been reported to death, and believe me I don’t want to write it up any more than you want to read it again, so I’ll spare us both the trouble.

But what’s constantly missed out on by the media is the good that clubs such as the Bulldogs do, and have been doing throughout both ‘scandals’.

One example is that of Nabeel Malik, who is a Bulldogs fan who had been diagnosed with a life threatening disease in late August. Understandably, Nabeel was struggling at the time.

He contacted Josh Jackson in the small hope that he might get a reply to cheer him up.

What Jackson did afterwards was above and beyond a simple reply.

He invited Nabeel to training leading up to their final game of the season, where he was able to meet all the players and grab some photo opportunities. Five-Eighth Josh Cleeland even wrote Nabeel’s name on his arm, dedicating his Round 25 game to him.

This is just one instance of Jackson’s positive actions.

In the days after the Napa videos were released, the negative media surrounding the club didn’t stop Jackson from getting out and making the fans happy.

Jackson and club great Terry Lamb paid a surprise visit to Trevor McCarren in hospital, who’d just been diagnosed with a severe cardiac issue.

Trevor has been a Canterbury supporter since birth, and has held Jackson as his favourite player for years, due to their shared selflessness and determined work ethic.

Patrina McCarren (a family member) wrote a letter of thanks to the club the following day, stating the following:

“On behalf of Trevor, and our family, I want to say a big thank you for making yesterday afternoon happen […] It is a memory our family will cherish, on a day that Trev was probably feeling at his lowest!”

Obviously, feel-good stories don’t sell papers. That always has been and always will be the case. The negative ‘crisis’ events will gain all the publicity, and portray the game in a much more dire state than it is.

But actions such as those of Josh Jackson show the nature of the vast majority of rugby league players, which is an encouraging thought as we endure what has been by far and away the most damaging off-season in the sport’s history.

It may only be two people, but the effects on Nabeel and Trevor have influenced many others throughout the rugby league world. Nabeel himself has since beaten the disease and is healthy again, whilst Trevor continues to battle on tirelessly.

These stories show the reality of our game, and the power it has. No matter how small the action, the effects it has can be literally, life-changing.


  1. Since the 1970 and 80s I have despised the dogs with a pathological passion. But let the record show that they are a great club full of great players past and present and demented but loyal fans…great article. well done

  2. Check out @clarkeys.nrl.column on Instagram for more of these stories and other NRL news! I’ll be bringing more of his feel-good stories to the site in the coming weeks, so make sure to stay posted!

  3. Fantastic article. Not just because I am a dogs fan, but because we never hear any feel good stories any of the players do from any club. They say good stories don’t sell papers and maybe they don’t, but why don’t we try and publish a few more and see what happens…

  4. Sydney Roosters Reach 12,000 members On their 111th Birthday today 24 Jan 2019💪😮👍🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓🐓

  5. Mate I mean come on. At times I do try to defend your Roosters propaganda campaign, and I’ll say I enjoy it. But firstly that’s not exactly a figure to boast about, and secondly what on earth does it have to do with this article 😂 People who would care would know, and unfortunately for us that doesn’t go all that far beyond us two on this site.

  6. What are you all talking about❓❔❓❔❓❔. If you have a birthday and go to work nobody remembers until you say OH, by the way, its my Birthday today. That has nothing to do with work has it.❓❔❓❔❓❔. But hands up everybody who has said that💪🐔👍.

    Well I’m just letting everybody know that it was the ROOSTERS 111th 🐔🐓🐔🐓Birthday.

    About the 12000 members well that’s a pretty good start and as far as crowd averages went last season, I would just like to tell everybody here that the bulldogs finished 10th in home averages while the Roosters finished 3rd in away averages just proves that everybody loves watching the Roosters.😁😆😂🤣

    I would just like to know how can anybody be a supporter of a team from birth❓❔❓❔ A person must make their own decisions and 1 day old humans have not that ability.🎱

  7. Put your hand up who wants another feel good WoodChook story like the Roosters 111th birthday yesterday 24 Jan 1908💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪🍰🎂

  8. Well everybody was talking about feel good stories so I thought that a birthday was also a feel good story. I see Brick Top would prefer to talk about his feel good story of Sam Burgess with his little input….

    brick top January 25, 2019 at 9:12 am
    rude pr*ck


  9. Nobody here cares, stfu and actually talk about the articles you spew all your rubbish on for heavens sake..

  10. Ok Berries supporter, don’t get your girly knickers in a knot mate. Here is a Canterbury Bankstown Berries feel good story for you. It’s been a long time since the Berries alias Bulldogs won a premiership with little hope of breaking the drought anytime soon. 15 seasons will have past after the siren sounds in the last round of the comp for the now known Bulldogs without glory however, on the feel good side of things, they might win a trophy this season. 2019 Wooden Spoon is a big chance to get back into the winning trophy buisiness again for your Berries.

  11. 111th Birthday huh? That’s fitting because the Roosters are 11th when they counted Club Memberships as of January.
    I’m sure the Rabbitohs’ fans find your membership numbers cute… as for an “East to Win” Roosters thinking Canterbury Bankstown Berries is an insult… at least the Bulldogs didn’t need a winless season and the French to find their identity.
    Seems winning the Grand Final got the fair-weather supporters such as yourself to sign up this year… so yay Roosters!!!

    Hmmm… the last time the Bulldogs had the wooden spoon… the Roosters took it off them the next season.

Comments are closed.