‘The damage is done’: Rugby league legend Corey Parker’s sad health admission

Feb 28, 2024
In a shocking revelation, rugby league legend Corey Parker has opened up about the toll his illustrious career has taken on his health. Source: Getty Images.

The prevelance of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) among rugby league players has dominated headlines recently, casting a shadow over the physical toll that the sport can exact.

Now, it sadly appears there may be another figure of the game afflicted with this devastating condition.

In a shocking revelation, rugby league legend Corey Parker has opened up about the toll his illustrious career has taken on his health, admitting that he believes he is experiencing symptoms of CTE.

According to Dementia Australia, CTE is a type of dementia where many repeated head injuries can affect someone’s brain function over time, enough to interfere with the person’s normal or working life.

The former NRL star expressed his concerns during a recent interview, acknowledging the grim reality of the impact repeated head injuries can have on a player’s long-term well-being.

“This CTE, it’s the word that obviously gets thrown around and rightly so, it is real,” Parker told SEN. 

“I’ve got no doubt, I have no doubt whatsoever over my tenure as a rugby league player that I have symptoms, I have symptoms of CTE.

“But it’s something that you can’t really get a grasp on until obviously post-mortem, you can try and manage different things but the damage is done isn’t it.”

Parker revealed the troubling tactics he employed during his playing days, sharing, “There was points in my career where I knew I was concussed, I knew I was dazed and towards the backend of my career, I would actually by myself time on the ground and grab a shoulder or leg until my head was right to then get to my feet.”

“I knew if I got to my feet I’d stumble, which is definitely not the right way to be thinking,” he added.

The gravity of Parker’s admission is compounded by recent revelations from another NRL legend, Wally Lewis, who previously disclosed his CTE diagnosis in 2023 and recently expressed fear for his future.

“I’m fearful for what my future will look like, so I try not to think too much about it,” he said.

“We all thought we were 10-feet tall, bulletproof.

“But for most of us, the reality was that it was causing us the extensive long-term damage (and it was) something that we weren’t dealing with.”

Lewis addressed a Dementia Australia panel from Parliament House on February 27, recounting his struggles with forgetfulness and denial.

The 64-year-old spoke candidly about the initial challenges he faced, admitting, “I was a little bit out of sorts, and then the confusion came, and then the denial,” he said.

“My best friends, my workmates … it soon became very obvious by the looks upon their faces.”

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