Rugby League: NZ Warriors, NRL create support fund for paralysed former coach Daniel Anderson

Daniel Anderson at Warriors training
Daniel Anderson at Warriors training. Photo credit: Photosport

NZ Warriors and the NRL have created a Daniel Anderson Support Fund to assist the former coach left paralysed by body-surfing accident in December.

Anderson, 56, guided the Warriors through 92 games from 2001-04, including their first NRL Grand Final in 2002, before taking St Helens to back-to-back Challenge Cup victories in England and then returning to Australia to take Parramatta Eels to the 2009 final.

For the past six months, he has suffered from a compression of the spinal cord, with limited mobility through his body and an unclear outlook for recovery.

The NZ and Australian rugby league community has rallied around with fundraising initiatives to support Anderson, who is categorised as an 'incomplete quadraplegic'. 

The NRL has designated Round 25 (August 17-20) as Daniel Anderson Round, while the Warriors have rescheduled their annual Old Boys' Day to fall on August 18, when they host Manly Sea Eagles at Go Media Stadium.

Many of the players expected to attend will have been coached by Anderson.

"Daniel is a huge part of this club's history and the Anderson family a big part of the success of the organisation today," said Warriors chief executive Cam George. "We will certainly be playing our part as a club to contribute in supporting Daniel and his family at this time."

Public can also contribute through an online fundraiser.


Anderson is currently employed as head of recruitment at Sydney Roosters and hopes to continue that role during his rehabilitation.

"It's been a tough period for the Roosters, but the thing is 'Ando' has made it easier for everyone," admitted coach Trent Robinson. "We feel sorry for him, but he doesn't feel sorry for himself.

"He does need our help, but it’s hard for him to say he needs that helping hand. That’s why we've got to get behind him and help him, because he's delivered a lot to rugby league over many generations."

Fittingly, the Roosters will face the Eels in Round 25. 

"Right now, I need assistance with everything - brushing my teeth, feeding, bathing, having a coffee," Anderson told the Daily Telegraph.

"I've got slight movement in my right hand. Three weeks ago, I couldn't do that - it's progress."

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