Masked Panther: Fighting words for Cleary

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Champions together

Panthers and Blues halfback Nathan Cleary caught up with Australian boxing great Tim Tszyu at Origin training in the lead-up to the series opener on Wednesday.

The WBO interim light-middleweight title holder chatted with Cleary and other members of the NSW team, before being presented his own New South Wales jersey from captain James Tedesco.

Tim Tszyu with Nathan Cleary.

Cleary backs old mate

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary headed to NRL headquarters on Monday to help launch The Daniel Anderson Support Fund.

The Fund aims to raise money for the former Warriors and Eels coach, who suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury late last year while body surfing on the Central Coast. Cleary said he owes plenty to Anderson from the pair’s time together at the Warriors.

“Daniel’s had a huge impact on so many people, more than he would ever understand,” Cleary said.

“He totally transformed New Zealand rugby league and the Warriors… and I’m glad I was coached by Daniel, because I use a lot of what he taught me in what I do today.” Details are available at

Kati’s big news

Congratulations to Pantherettes choreographer Kati Manning, who recently became engaged during a trip to the United States. Manning was in Denver, where she was once a dancer with the Nuggets in the NBA, when her partner popped the question on the court.

The big proposal.


Panthers hooker Soni Luke getting in some recovery and relaxation time at Reset, inside the Astina building in the Penrith CBD.

Martin extension looms

It’s hoped that Blues forward Liam Martin will lock in a contract extension with the Panthers in the coming weeks. Martin is keen to stay at the foot of the mountains beyond his existing contract, which expires at the end of next year. He signed a one-year extension in February but both he and the club are keen on a longer commitment.

On the road for charity

A Panthers-themed vehicle, with local real estate agents Darren and Daniel Latty on board, took part in the Variety Bash in late May.

The boys raised more than $5,000 for the cause and certainly turned plenty of heads in the journey – with the Panthers very popular right across New South Wales.

Crichton’s call-up

It’s been a huge week for Stephen Crichton, who was called into the Blues’ starting side on Monday after Latrell Mitchell suffered a calf injury at training.

Critter was expecting a reasonably quiet week in Adelaide as 18th man, but was suddenly thrust into the Origin arena less than 72 hours from kick-off. It also opened the door for former Panthers centre Matt Burton, who became 18th man.

Farewell Mark

Family and friends came together on Monday to farewell Mark Lyons, who passed away last week at the age of 52.

Lyons is credited as Panther 307, and made his first grade debut with the club in Round 14 of the 1991 season. He played seven games with the Panthers, before heading to South Sydney to continue his career. Lyons was just 52.


Former Panthers enforcer Tim Grant in the United States checking out the headquarters of the New York Jets.

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Have you spotted a Panther out and about, or have some news you want to share? I don’t keep secrets, but I do protect my sources! Email [email protected].

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