Footy hardman Tevita Pangai Jr reveals the heartbreaking reason why he had to leave his team and miss his debut to stand by his wife’s side
- NRL Star Tevita Pangai Jr Has Revealed Why He Missed His Panthers Debut
- Former Broncos player and partner suffered devastating loss of their daughter
- His wife Anna Inoke gave birth to their baby stillborn 24 weeks after her pregnancy
- Since then, he has thanked coach Ivan Cleary and his family for their continued support
NRL fans have glimpsed a softer side of footy hardman Tevita Pangai Jr after the player revealed the heartbreaking reason why he missed his Panthers debut.
Pangai Jr and his partner Anna Inoke were forced to say goodbye to their daughter Georgia after she was born dead in August at 24 weeks.
The NRL star was told Georgia would be delivered early in a training session and traveled from soccer camp to be with his wife during the difficult ordeal.
NRL fans have glimpsed a softer side of footy hardman Tevita Pangai Jr (pictured) after the player revealed the heartbreaking reason he missed his Panthers debut
The former Brisbane Broncos star has since praised Panthers coach Ivan Cleary for his understanding, after he was banned from his debut game over a ‘very personal and sensitive matter’, as described by the club at the time.
Ivan just said, ‘Take as much time as you want and be with your partner,’ said Pangai Jr. 9NEWS.
“He was really supportive and of course he has kids of his own and he’s really family oriented.”
The 25-year-old began to be open to the impact of the devastating loss, saying NRL players deserved the same sympathy as everyone else.
‘It has been especially hard for my partner, but I try to be there as much as possible. It hit me hard.
The NRL star heard the training session after hearing the news and traveled from camp to be with his wife during the difficult ordeal (pictured, Pangai Jr after scoring a try for the Penrith Panthers on August 29)
Pangai Jr and his partner Anna Inoke (pictured) were forced to say goodbye to their daughter Georgia after she was stillborn at 24 weeks old in August.
“Ultimately, people see us as overpaid football players and have a right, but we are just as human as the public and this hurt me.”
The grieving couple, along with other family members, held a funeral service for their daughter Georgia Lose Galilee Pangai in Brisbane on August 15.
“Don’t think there is anything like the grief of losing your own child, but we are so grateful to our family for all they have done to help us through the past few days,” the couple wrote in a statement. mail online.
“We have felt so much love despite the loss of our little love. We miss you so much already our dear girl. Our Father in Heaven had other plans for our Georgia. We love you so much! Until we see your sweet face again, dear.’
“He was very helpful and he obviously has kids of his own and he’s really family oriented,” Pangai said of Panthers coach Ivan Cleary (pictured)
The couple (pictured) held a funeral service for their daughter Georgia Lose Galilee Pangai in Brisbane on August 15, burying the little girl next to her grandmother and namesake.
The heartbroken footy player said on the morning of their daughter’s passing that his wife had told him she couldn’t feel the baby kick.
Pangai Jr said he had been looking forward to holding his daughter on his chest, watching her and his wife play and dropping her off on the first day of school.
“We plan and plan and plan, but our creator is in control, and we’re just playing our part,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Be always with Mama and with me, my little girl… May God ease our pain and all other suffering.”
The couple — now reunited with the Panthers — buried their daughter next to her grandmother Georgia Inoke, after whom she was named.