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Paul Gallen: NRL legend saved my footy career with stunning spray that almost made me cry

Paul Gallen reveals how an NRL legend saved his footy career by giving him a stunning spray that’s WAY too rude to print: ‘I almost started crying’

  • Paul Gallen revealed how a brutal dressing-down was a turning point in career
  • Rugby league icon Ron Massey gave the Blues legend a tongue-lashing
  • Massey was considered one of the shrewdest minds in all of rugby league

Paul Gallen is regarded as one of Australia’s toughest ever athletes, and as his 23-year professional sporting journey nears its end the Sharks legend has revealed how a brutal spray saved his career – and almost left him in tears.

Chatting to Fox League’s Michael Ennis ahead of his final boxing bout against Justin Hodges, Gallen recalled the time he met rugby league icon Ron Massey and the life-changing impact it had on him. 

Paul Gallen is regarded as one of Australia's toughest ever athletes, and as his 23-year professional sporting career nears it's end the Sharks legend has revealed how a brutal spray saved his career

Paul Gallen is regarded as one of Australia’s toughest ever athletes, and as his 23-year professional sporting career nears it’s end the Sharks legend has revealed how a brutal spray saved his career

Chatting to Fox League's Michael Ennis ahead of his final boxing bout against Justin Hodges, Gallen (pictured playing for the Sharks in 2004) told of the time he met rugby league icon Ron Massey and the life-changing impact it had on him

Chatting to Fox League’s Michael Ennis ahead of his final boxing bout against Justin Hodges, Gallen (pictured playing for the Sharks in 2004) told of the time he met rugby league icon Ron Massey and the life-changing impact it had on him

The legendary Massey was right-hand man to the great Jack Gibson and a close confidante of Wayne Bennett for 30 years.

Known as a straight-shooter and ruthlessly honest, Massey was respected as having the sharpest football mind in the game.

Gallen explained that early in his footy career he never really cared what people thought of him and his ultra competitive nature made him a polarising figure – and that he had ‘overstepped the mark’. 

Ricky Stuart organised for Gallen to meet with the great Massey, but things didn’t turn out like he imagined.

‘It wasn’t until I had a conversation with Ron Massey,’ Gallen recalled.

Gallen explained that early in his footy career he never really cared what people thought of him and his ultra competitive nature made him a polarising figure - and that he had 'overstepped the mark'

Gallen explained that early in his footy career he never really cared what people thought of him and his ultra competitive nature made him a polarising figure – and that he had ‘overstepped the mark’

‘I can’t remember what year it was, but I remember going to this old bloke’s house and Ricky Stuart said, mate just cop whatever is coming.

‘I was really excited to go and see this old bloke. I remember telling my dad I was going to go see him and he was so pumped. He said, mate he is Jack Gibson’s right-hand man.

‘Ricky looked at me with this funny look and said, mate just cop whatever is coming at you.

‘I was just like, OK what is going to happen here.

Gallen pictured celebrating the 2016 NRL grand final with former player Andrew Ettingshausen

Gallen pictured celebrating the 2016 NRL grand final with former player Andrew Ettingshausen

‘I walked in and he looked 100. He sits me down and said, you are the biggest soft c**k I have ever seen.

‘I was like, where is this coming from. It was crazy. And it didn’t relent. He kept going and going and going. It was crazy.

‘I was just like, I almost started crying.

‘That was the defining moment in my whole career and my life I think.

‘I realised that to be competitive and to want to win, you don’t always have to do stupid things and that probably saved my career to be honest.’

Gallen (pictured with Jarryd Hayne) was said to have made his first phone call to Massey after the NSW Blues broke Queensland's State of Origin dominance with a shock series win in 2014

Gallen (pictured with Jarryd Hayne) was said to have made his first phone call to Massey after the NSW Blues broke Queensland’s State of Origin dominance with a shock series win in 2014

Gallen was said to have made his first phone call to Massey after the NSW Blues broke Queensland’s State of Origin dominance with a shock series win in 2014.   

Ron Massey passed away in 2016 at 86-years-of-age.


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