Knights star’s heartbreak at mum’s passing
It was the emotional story that captured the hearts of NRL fans across the game this year. And sadly, Kurt Mann has revealed his mum Jane has now passed away.
But Newcastle's unassuming utility says he is just thankful that he got to spend three weeks with her before they said their final goodbyes last month.
"We were all by her bedside so we helped her make that transition," Mann said.
"I was at home for three weeks before she passed. And I drove back to Newcastle to pick my partner up and my little fella as well so they got to spend a bit of time with her.
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"We had a good send-off for her in Warwick and another one out in Longreach where she spent most of her time."
Jane Dickson passed away on November 11 after a long battle with a rare form of liver cancer, cholangiocarcinoma.
Mann's heartbreaking story came to light in September when it was revealed that he couldn't even give his sick mum a hug because of the COVID restrictions after she had travelled down from Queensland to watch him play.
He knew at the time that she only had months to live.
The NRL then granted Mann permission to break the Newcastle bubble so he could travel to the border town of Tenterfield late in the season to spend time together.
Mann then had to try and convince Queensland authorities to let him back into his home state after the season when he knew his mum was approaching her final days.
"I got across the border eventually," Mann said.
"It was still closed at the time. (But) I eventually got the green light to go across so I got to spend a bit of time with mum."
Now back in Newcastle for pre-season training, which will bring fresh COVID challenges, Mann says it has been hard but he is coping as well as he could hope with his mum's loss.
"You know, it comes and goes," Mann explained.
"A lot of people have been through it as well.
"I just handle it as best as I can I guess.
"But I am sure she is up there watching over all of us.
"We are a pretty tight-knit family as well so we will all be leaning on each other."
Mann says he still thinks back to his early years growing up in outback Queensland and how much his mum gave up so he could achieve his goal of playing in the NRL.
"She sacrificed a lot so I could chase my dream which is playing footy," he added.
"One of her favourite things was she would always come and watch me play and watch every game on TV.
"I would talk to her after every game.
"That is something I will miss.
"But like I said, I am sure she will be watching over me."
Originally published as Knights star's heartbreak at mum's passing