Bathurst resident Terry “Tex” Stevens was visited by former St George Illawarra forward Dan Hunt on Friday morning.
It was a great boost for Mr Stevens, who has had a difficult past six months after suffering a stroke in November.
Mr Stevens has been a passionate fan of rugby league since he was young, according to wife Carmel.
“He’s a [Sydney] Roosters fan and was a member up until last year. Any opportunity to see them, he would go down,” she said.
“There was only two clubs he ever followed – [Bathurst] Charlestons and the Roosters.
“He organised the Charlestons reunion and spent months and months doing that. We had a few hundred come along, coming from everywhere.”
Bathurst resident and former Cronulla-Sutherland and Charlestons footballer Royce George played a hand in getting Dan Hunt out to Bathurst to visit Mr Stevens.
Mr Hunt, who played over 100 NRL matches for the Dragons, has been involved with Men of League for the past decade, a foundation that provides assistance and support to players, coaches, referees, officials and administrators from all levels of rugby league who have fallen on tough times.
The now retired rugby league player has been in the Central West for the past week, holding clinics and visiting people.
“With the Men of League, we’ve been visiting people who have fallen on tough times or have been struggling a little bit, to brighten up their day and show our support,” Mr Hunt said.
“These people have been involved in rugby league for many years, they’ve worked really hard in their community and they have fallen on tough times. A lot of the time it’s not their fault or it’s no one’s fault.
“To be able to have a foundation like Men of League to provide that support for these individuals is crucial, is vital.
“We’ve also been doing some coaching clinics around Wellington, Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst with the junior rugby league.”
Mr Hunt has been in the Central West region providing Men of League’s State of Mind program, which is focused on educating people on mental health and illness, breaking down the stigma and promoting health-seeking behaviour.
“I presented last night [Thursday] at the Bathurst Panthers and we’re in Orange tonight. They’ve been really well received from the community and it’s something that we’re trying to get the word out there, about mental health and mental illness that it is okay to talk about it,” he said.
Mr Hunt also visited Bathurst resident Chris Culnane and several patients at the Bathurst Hospital.