June 16, 2024

ASK ANY former teammate to sum up former Parramatta forward Brett Horsnell, the Crushers, Seagulls, and Gold Coast Giants as tough as they come, and they’ll all tell you the same thing.

Horsnell, a former student star at the renowned Keebra Park High School on the Gold Coast, epitomised the qualities of a successful clubman.

The player, referred to as “Horse,” was recruited by then-Giants coach Bob McCarthy and made his first-grade debut in 1989 for the now-defunct Gold Coast Giants. He was a promising centre.

With over 154 first grade games under his belt, the former rugby league veteran is now facing a new challenge, having been diagnosed with probable CTE disease (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).

CTE is a degenerative and often fatal brain disease that stems from repeated brain trauma, something Horsnell believes spawned from his playing days.

Having endured over 51 concussions throughout his career, Horsnell is unable to function properly post-retirement, that includes, difficulty in walking, memory loss, light sensitivity, blinding headaches, and vertigo.

But as the former Australian schoolboys captain rolls up his sleeves in the fight of his life, he refuses to give up hope of doctors finding a cure for the disease.

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