THE SECRET INSPIRATION BEHIND NSW BLUES CAPTAIN KEZIE APPS’ ORIGIN TRIUMPH
Sunday 23 June 2019 12:00am
A night to remember: 12-year-old Molly Croft receiving a personalised boot from NSW Blues captain Kezie Apps.
WHEN NSW Blues captain Kezie Apps raised the Women’s State of Origin Shield at North Sydney Oval this week she further cemented her status as a champion sportswoman and hero for young girls and boys across the country.
But it was what she did when the cameras weren’t rolling that deserves the biggest spotlight. . .
After being introduced at the 9th annual ANZ Stadium Members’ Dinner in May, Kezie and 12-year-old cancer-survivor Molly Croft from Dubbo hit it off immediately.
Kezie presented Molly with an Origin jersey at the dinner and the two bonded over their mutual love for the Blues and St George-Illawarra Dragons.
Inspirational . . . Molly Croft presented with a NSW Blues jersey by Origin star Kezie Apps at ANZ Stadium Members' Dinner. PIcture: Jason McCawley.
Following the dinner, Kezie invited Molly to attend the Women’s State of Origin clash at North Sydney Oval as her guest.
After defeating Queensland 14 - 4 on Friday night, Kezie invited Molly and her family into the Blues shed and presented Molly with her personalised boot, telling the young cancer survivor that she had played the game for her.
Speaking of the touching gesture Kezie said: “It was the last I could do for Molly after what she has been through . . . we have become wonderful friends and she is like my real-life hero, what an inspiration.
“We have stayed in touch since meeting at the ANZ Stadium Members’ Dinner and I invited her to the game and then asked the NASWRL if she could come into the sheds after the game, and everyone was thrilled to have her with us.
“I had written her name on one of my boots and used Molly as my inspiration on the night, and then I presented it to her after the game.”
The golden boot . . . presented to Molly Croft by NSW Blues captain Kezie Apps.
Molly’s mother Ange Croft said that Molly was overcome with emotion: “Let’s just say our baby was lost for words. Please thank Crystelle, Arthur and Christine for allowing us the opportunity of introducing Molly to Kezie. What a great role model for women in sport she is. We are forever grateful.”
Surely there is no greater story to come out of Origin weekend than the life-changing friendship that has been forged between these two inspirational heroes.