Maguire’s moving gesture for wheelchair-bound young Souths fan

THE Wests Tigers are getting a good man.
Newly-appointed coach Michael Maguire has a reputation as a hard taskmaster, but his compassionate side is just as fierce.

Nine-year-old South Sydney fan Anthony Kambouroglou has been battling the debilitating Perthes disease for the past 14 months, during which time he has been wheelchair-bound.

The rare disease affects the hip and femur of children.

Through his school principal, who knows Maguire’s wife, Anthony was encouraged to write the former Rabbitohs coach a letter.

On Monday, two weeks after the letter was sent, a generous package landed on his doorstep as well as a handwritten note.

“He was over the moon,” Anthony’s dad George told

“There was toothbrushes, a flag, the winter jacket, the jersey, a shirt, so much stuff.”

The Kambouroglou family are big supporters of South Sydney, with father George also a sponsor of the club.

He said Anthony’s letter was written to thank Maguire for everything he had done for the Rabbitohs, also mentioning that he had read his book, A Year to Remember, which was released following their 2014 premiership.

In more good news for Anthony, he has recently been able to start learning to walk again.

“[Being stuck in a wheelchair] is hard for an active kid,” George said.

“He’s been able to but weight bearing back on his leg. He’s been in a wheelchair for 14 months but now he’s on crutches. He’s borderline being able to walk again. He’s learning to walk again now. We’re aiming to be completely out of a chair within the next four to five weeks depending on his physiotherapy.”

Maguire is well-known for his impressive community and charity work.

After being sacked from the Rabbitohs at the end of 2017, Maguire boarded a plane to Africa for a 10-day trip with aid agency Caritas Australia, visiting poverty stricken communities and orphanages.

“I had a great six years at Souths but now it’s time to move forward,” he told at the time.

“I had the opportunity to go to Africa for the first time in my life and meet people who had gone from nothing to actually building their lives.

“The strength and resilience of the poor has taught me so much.

“To go overseas and see the things I’ve seen, it was quite amazing to think how lucky we can be and what we can do for people who aren’t as fortunate to have the things we have.

“There were people living in complete poverty — no water, no food, no homes — who now have these all because of the work of Caritas.”

After winning the 2014 NRL premiership, he spent the off-season volunteering to coach under privileged rugby league players in PNG.

Now we know what Marty Lang was saying when he said we were linking up with not just a good coach, but a good man.

Some great stories there.

The league really needs to go out and ensure more of these stories make it into the media because people at every level are doing things like this every day and we don’t hear about it.

At the end of the day he will be remembered for his involvement in rugby league and how many premierships he wins but the small moments and acts of kindness outlined in this article will have a much more lasting impact on peoples lives.

Great work Madge. Nice to know he has good values and can set a good example as our leader. Things are looking really positive for our club atm.

No matter how which way you look at it this is definately an upgrade on Ivan. Im not expecting miracles but Im also not expecting a mid year slump.

Nice gesture by madge. More stories like this need to be shared and not just by our club.

Wasn’t there a story when Ivan donated a kidney to his brother or something ??


Wasn’t there a story when Ivan donated a kidney to his brother or something ??

Donated his integrity and half his pay packet to his son as well. A real family man was our Ivan.

No one calling fluff piece…hmm

Well done Madge…sounds like a top class operator…

Ok, I’m on board.

Can’t wait for 2019! Make the Tigers Great Again!

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