In 2011, NRL fans had the chance to share in a piece of rugby league history. The game’s record books were re-written, some taken to heights unlikely to ever be matched. Darren Lockyer celebrated his 34th birthday in 2011. Of those 34 years, 17 have been spent putting his body through hell in perhaps the toughest football competition on the planet. Lockyer has, quite literally, spent half his lifetime in the NRL.
Lockyer holds the all-time appearance record for club, state, and country. It is a feat no less a judge than Wayne Bennett declared would never be equaled. The remarkable longevity of Lockyer’s excellence has earned him the respect of fellow athletes around the world and the adoration of fans everywhere. But while undoubtedly one of the most recognizable athletes in Australia, Lockyer has largely maintained his privacy, rarely, if ever, allowing fans a look at the man behind the man.