Saints coach Brown pays tribute to McKinnon

St Helens coach Nathan Brown has asked the Rugby League community to give long-term support Newcastle Knights forward Alex McKinnon, 22, who broke his neck against Melbourne Storm a fortnight ago and could potentially be diagnosed with quadriplegia.

Brown was St George-Illawarra coach when McKinnon joined them as a 15-year-old. He told the St Helens Star: “I did not know Alex well, but he was recruited to the Dragons as a 15-year-old kid when I was head coach.

The tackle that looks to have ended Alex McKinnon's career. ©Action
The tackle that looks to have ended Alex McKinnon’s career. ©Action

“I just hope and pray he can walk again some day. Rugby League is a great career to have but at the end of the day when rugby is not there you have a long life after that. Rugby League is just a small part of his life.

“I know a lot people at the moment are doing and saying lots of things for him out of kindness, but I hope all the Knights players and different people who are saying ‘Rise for Alex’ are still doing it for him and his family in ten years, over the long journey.

“It is easy in the short term but people are soon forgotten in this game.

“Newcastle can go and win the Grand Final for him but what Alex is going to need is a lot of support over a lot of years.”

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