Queensland rugby league has been rocked after one of the State’s star players was tragically killed in a car crash at the age of 28.
Michael Purcell sadly lost his life on Sunday morning following a car crash in Brisbane.
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The star winger-fullback had played a total of 82 games for the Ipswich Jets and Brisbane Tigers, registering 68 tries and 22 goals.
Purcell, nicknamed “The Kangaroo Catcher” after he once was said to have chased down a kangaroo during a race, was one of the fastest players in Queensland.
His standout abilities on the field led to him receiving an NRL contract with the Melbourne Storm last year.
He joined the Storm for pre-season training before returning to Queensland and playing for the Brisbane Tigers in the Intrust Super Cup.
His death rocked the rugby league community with tributes flooding in following Sunday’s tragic crash.
“I am shattered, it’s so, so sad,” Ben Walker said to the Courier MailPurcell’s former coach at the Ipswich Jets in the Queensland Cup
“He was a really talented kid who definitely had the ability to play NRL.
“We got a tip about this kid playing reserve grade and his nickname was the ‘Kangaroo Catcher’ because the story went he was so fast he once chased down a kangaroo during a cross-country run in the bush.
“We signed him to the Ipswich Jets and he ended up scoring 66 tries in 71 games. He had incredible speed.”