Darren Currie had never been sent off in a rugby league game, but after hitting a referee he has been banned from league for li
Darren Currie had never been sent off in a rugby league game, but after hitting a referee he has been banned from league for li

Currie tells of brain snap

By RODNEY STEVENS

THE death of Darren Currie's uncle three days before contributed to an out-of-character 'brain snap' that resulted in his life ban from rugby league on Wednesday night.

The day after the ban was imposed on a shattered Currie he reflected to The Daily Examiner his feelings about the incident and his intentions for the future.

Currie said there were a lot of issues in his life at the time he hit reserve grade referee Vaughn Steel, including the premature birth of his seventh child, which resulted in him travelling back and forth to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.

There was also the death of his uncle to whom he was close, and this, he thinks, may have contributed to his actions.

"My circumstances don't excuse me for my actions," he said.

"I explained my circumstances to the judiciary and they didn't help my case."

Currie told The Daily Examiner that he was very sad because of everything that was going on in his life.

"I have to suffer for the rest of my life," he said.

"It (the ban) affects me in a lot of ways. I can't play footy any more."

The ban imposed by the NRRRL judiciary prevents Currie from playing rugby league again, but does not stop his involvement with the game or his former club in other roles.

"I spoke to the Magpies reserve grade coach Shane Eamons today and offered to support the team in any way I can," he said.

Rugby league has been a major part of the life of the Townsend resident, but he said he would abide by the judiciary's decision.

"I want to put this behind me now," he said.

"This was the first time I got sent off in my life and the last time," Currie said.

Currie described the game against Murwillumbah as one full of incidents the referee disregarded.

"Their prop, number eight, elbowed my teammate Mark Laurie in a tackle which was totally disregarded by the referee," he said.

Currie said this was one of many incidents in the game involving illegal play by the Murwillumbah players towards the Maclean team.

"The referee was being biased against Maclean," he said.

"I did it (hit referee Steel) because I was sticking up for my team and the game of football."

A dedicated family man and father of eight children: Shirleen, 18; Kyle, nine; Laine, eight; Jye, eight; Mason, seven-and-a-half; Bianca, seven; Jade, five; and Tikoda, six weeks, Currie said he has played sport all his life and would consider playing rugby union, soccer or golf in the future.

"I know some of the lads at the Buccaneers and the Redmen," he said.

Currie's mother said he had been a sporting boy all his life.

"What Darren did is very much out of character for him. This is the first time he has ever done anything like that," she said.

Following a discussion with the judiciary after their decision was handed down, Currie is considering his options in rugby league including the possibility of being a referee in the future.

Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League president Doug Harrison said it was the first life ban in the history of the NRRRL.

Referee Vaughn Steel declined to comment.

Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League officials and the referees association yesterday welcomed the life ban handed out to Currie.

NRRRL president Robin Harley said: "We support the judiciary and I think they got the result pretty right."



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