Imran Gashkori | Sports Journalist | Imran@betootaadvocate.com
20 November, 2014. 16:30
LAST WEEK it was revealed that a member of the 2011 Manly Sea Eagles squad had done the unthinkable — selling their NRL premiership ring on eBay for a fraction of its worth.
Today, The Betoota Advocate can reveal the name of the player at the centre of this controversy, as well as his shonky reasoning behind it all.
28-year-old David ‘Wolfman’ Williams has owned up to the “disrespectful money-grab”, breaking a record as the first player in history to give away league’s most valued grand final prize, flogging it online for the bargain basement price of $2300.
The unique piece of jewellery — which, encrusted in diamonds, is one of only 25 presented to the Sea Eagles three years ago — now belongs to a new owner, Toowoomba tattoo artist Danny Wighton.
Williams has stated that he didn’t feel he deserved the ring, or any ring for that matter – stating that he feels he is not responsible for any of the successes Manly has seen in his time there.
“I was always a passenger. There’s people out there who actually put in for the win… I wasn’t one of them. George Rose, Steve Matai, Brent Kite… these are the guys that actually deserve a ring like that. I was always a bit soft”
Many of the Sea Eagles fans have condemned his actions, while some are showing sympathy for the man who feels like he never belonged at the iconic Rugby League Club. In Round 25 of the 2011 NRL season, Williams broke his neck against Melbourne and was ruled out for the rest of season, missing out on Manly’s 24-10 win over the New Zealand Warriors in the 2011 NRL Grand Final. He was given 3 to 4 months to recover and was still considered a contributing member of the team after the premiership win.
Thom Jackson-Birmingham, a 26-year-old manly die-hard, gave The Advocate an insight into how the average punter feels about it all.
“He’s an absolute muppet mate! Betting on his own games, dying his beard all these fruity colours, SELLING HIS F**KING RING! I don’t care how broke he is, that’s not f**king on!”
Williams has refused to comment on whether the sale of his ring was related to his well-publicised financial woes, the same ones that forced him into betting on NRL matches online, some of which he was directly involved in. After being investigated by the NRL Integrity Unit, Dave Williams was suspended for majority of last season.
When asked if he felt this will affect the atmosphere in a club that he is still signed to, David Williams seemed oblivious to the drama.
“No! why would it affect the club I’m in? People don’t understand Manly… not even the fans. I would have thought the coaching staff would be happy for me to make an extra buck, so long as I stayed here. If selling my ring means I can live more comfortably in Manly… then so be it. It’s just a bit of bling.”
Spokespeople from the club are yet to comment.