Shane Brunner – A True Eels Supporter

On 24 September 2015 when Ben Ross Welfare Manager, accompanied by Northern Sydney Welfare Officers Norm Pounder and Ken Vessey paid a surprise visit to see Shane Brunner (Men of League Member) at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. Shane by his own admission “got the shock of his life to have Norm and Ben standing by his bed combined with the fact that we were visiting him”. Shane went on to tell us that he was a motor cycle enthusiast and every year, along with a group of fellow enthusiast’s, he would go on a long road trip and it was on such a trip on 16 September 2015, when travelling through the Kangaroo Valley NSW, that he was involved in a major accident with a motor vehicle. Shane was rushed to the Nowra Hospital and then airlifted to the Royal North Shore Hospital Sydney where he underwent urgent surgery for his injuries which included a broken back, all ribs snapped, broken collarbone to name a few and he had only just came out of the ICU to a general ward on the 23 September 2015. We were collectively amazed by the courage being shown by Shane, when obviously he was in extreme pain and through his injuries was now a paraplegic. 

Shane, a bricklayer by trade, was born in Toowoomba Queensland and from a young age played rugby league for Toowoomba Valley Roosters, Newtown and in the Eastern Suburbs Brisbane. One could imagine him being a rugged type hooker who had it down to a fine art of packing into a scrum with a loose arm or striking before the ball was fed into the scrum and naturally incurring the wrath of the Referee on a regular basis.
He is still a keen rugby league supporter following the Parramatta “Eels” District RLF Club and at the time of his accident he was intending to accomplish one of his “bucket list wishes” by visiting the Eel’s home ground Pirtek Stadium Parramatta.
Shane has a very supportive family of three daughters Kellie, Kara and Nickki, two sons Benjamin and Joshua and three grandchildren Jaida, Rhia and Jordon. During our visit we had the pleasure to meet his son Joshua, his sister Charmane and her husband John Schnitzerlong.
We presented Shane with a Men of League polo shirt and cap. In return, he stated he was overwhelmed and could not thank us enough for our surprise visit, he thanked us for the gifts and wished the Men of League Foundation every success in the future.

(Left to right – Norm Pounder, Ben Ross, Joshua Brunner and Ken Vessey)

By Ken Vessey

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