'155' honour for Mosese Fotuaika
Monday 11 March 2013 1:36 PM
Wests Tigers will tonight honour former prop Mosese Fotuaika in a very special tribute at Hunter Stadium.
The playing jumpers of the Wests Tigers NRL team will bear the words ‘Mosese Fotuaika, 1992-2013, 155’ on it.
A full-time member of the NRL squad this season, Mosese was on the verge of making his NRL debut after playing in the Wests Tigers premiership winning NYC side in 2012.
The Club lists players with a number on their first grade honour roll with Mosese Fotuaika being allocated the next number, 155.
Wests Tigers CEO Stephen Humphreys said the issuing of number 155 was recommended by Captain Robbie Farah on behalf of the playing group.
“Robbie and the team felt this was a special way of honouring Mosese and how much he meant to the players,’’ Humphreys said.
“As a close knit Club, we were more than happy to do this. Mosese’s name is now permanently recorded on our first grade honour list.”
Wests Tigers players will wear black armbands tonight. Newcastle Knights have agreed to observe a minute’s silence in remembrance of Mosese Fotuiaka, who was buried last Thursday.
NYC Coach Todd Payten delivered a beautiful eulogy at the funeral, recalling some of the special moments in which the former ‘warrior’ scored 14 tries in 42 matches for the Club over two seasons.
Payten said Mosese was a real leader for a quiet and shy person.
“Mosese was a leader with what he did rather than what he said. He was a player all the boys loved to play with,’’ Payten said.
“He was a tough, no nonsense kind of player. He never shirked his responsibility to the side. He may not have been the loudest of voices on the field but he was a quiet constant that I knew would be reliable and that the other guys could depend on.
“I used to challenge him against some of the other more recognised props in our comp and when I did that look in his eyes was almost immediate.”
Payten recalled the pride Mosese had for his team-mates, especially following the round 25 loss to the Sydney Roosters last season.
“My message to the players was that it is very hard to get in a position that we were in to challenge for the title,’’ Payten said.
“I wanted them to know that and not to waste that opportunity. Some players spoke up about the opportunity in front of us but I can remember as clear as day what and how Mosese spoke. He said he didn’t want to waste an opportunity like this with his best mates.
“He felt that the team was like family to him and that they meant so much to him. At this point tears were rolling down his cheek. He had captivated all of us.
“When ‘Sess’ spoke we all listened. From there we didn’t lose a match and took out the title. What Mosese said was spot on and had a huge influence on all of us. You could see how much it meant to him.”