A leading rugby league charity has offered its support to former star Sandy Campbell after it was revealed the ex-player was homeless and was recently diagnosed with throat cancer.
The former iconic figure of the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters played 93 first class games in the 1980s and 90s and was considered a rugby league glamor boy.
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Campbell – nicknamed “The Sandman” and “Dancing Sandy from Samarai” – after the island and former administrative capital of Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, from which he hails – was a rugby league star loved by fans became and was striking, try winger with a burst of speed.
At the height of his power, Campbell was on the cover of Rugby League Week posing as Michael Jackson with the headline “BAD – The Dancin” Bulldog. The Remarkable Talents of a Bulldogs Airman.’
These days, the 56-year-old sleeps on the beach and is often spotted picking up a hot meal at a St Vincent de Paul homeless shelter in Tweed Heads.
The charity Family of League, formerly Men of League, said Sunday it has been in contact with Campbell and is working to support him.
“Family of League would like to thank everyone from across the country who has reached out to us with concerns about former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Sandy Campbell,” it said on social media.
“We have located Sandy and will be working with the Bulldogs to help in any way we can.”
The development came just days after it was revealed that Campbell spends his days wandering the streets with all his belongings in a shopping trolley and sleeps at night at Coolangatta surf club on the Gold Coast.
Estranged from his wife and twin daughters, he has reportedly struggled after retiring from football in 1991 and has worked as a security guard and tattoo artist for the past 20 years.
To make matters worse, Campbell was diagnosed with throat cancer a month ago, according to a News Corp report, with good friend Darren Smith revealing that Campbell has to regularly visit a local hospital for chemotherapy and then walk with a tube that takes the self-administered treatment.
“He has nothing … He just started treatment, but he has nowhere to stay, nowhere to go and no help,” Smith told News Corp.
“Right now he’s sleeping on the beach under one of the surf clubs in Coolangatta.
“I saw him the other day and I was like, ‘What the hell, are you serious?’ Look at him, he’s connected to this (medical) s*** and pushing his cart – how do you help?”
Campbell’s former teammates are flocking to him.
“It was sad – he was fine until about a year ago when things fell apart,” former teammate Kurt Landers told Wide World of Sports.
“I’m determined to help him and so I have a lot of other guys who have played with and against him.
“I’m going to the Gold Coast to check on him soon and we’d like to set up a GoFundMe page to help him.”
Landers said he hopes fans can get behind the fallen star.
“Hopefully the fans who have enjoyed it can lend a hand,” Landers said.
https://7news.com.au/sport/rugby-league/new-development-in-tragic-fall-from-grace-of-former-rugby-league-glamour-boy-sandy-campbell-c-9130873 Sandy Campbell NRL: New development in tragic downfall of rugby league’s former ‘glamor boy’