Recently retired Penrith Panthers prop Brent Kite will auction off his 2008 Clive Churchill Medal in December to raise money for charity.
The 34-year-old officially retired from the game last week after 313 first grade appearances, 10 Origins and two premierships.
The former Manly and St George Illawarra star, who hasn’t played a game for the Panthers since breaking his leg against the Titans in April, will auction off his 2008 Clive Churchill Medal at a retirement dinner later this year.
Funds raised from the auction of the prized medal will go towards Spinal Home Help (SHH), a charity very close to Kite’s heart.
“About a decade ago my cousin, who lives in Brisbane, had a surfing accident and became a quadriplegic. He heads up the charity Spinal Home Help,” Kite told Extra Time.
SHH provides one-to-one peer mentoring support to people with spinal chord injuries and their immediate family members. Support is provided as the client transitions from hospital through rehabilitation to living at home and reengaging with the community.
“My cousin has dealt with his injury really well while others in his position haven’t. He’s such an inspirational guy and it motivates you to help where you can,” Kite said.
“I wanted to do something different that draws attention and thought having a charity retirement dinner would be a good idea to raise money.”
Kite received his Clive Churchill Medal following a man of the match performance during Manly’s thumping 40-0 Grand Final win over the Storm in 2008.
Kite said he was recently in touch with Clive Churchill’s widow, Joyce, to inform her of his intentions.
“I got a hold of Joyce a few days ago and she was all for the idea. I hope to have her at the retirement dinner so she can pass on the medal,” he said.
“Parting ways with it is no trouble because I’ll always be mentioned in the same breath as Churchill, who’s one of the first Immortals and greats of the game.
“My name is forever linked with his and that’s a nice little thing for a guy who thought if he got to first grade he would’ve achieved all of his footballing goals.”
Further details on Brent Kite’s charity retirement dinner on December 11 can be found at manlygoldeneagles.com.au.
– Nathan Taylor