Grandmothers have always played a central role in rugby league and Manly’s Jason Saab sadly lost his grandma to COVID-19 whilst in the NRL bubble. He is paying tribute with painted boots that feature wings. Saab shared his story with the SMH: “She always told me to put wings on my feet, it’s something she came up with because I run fast,” Saab said of the tribute to his late grandmother, Carol.
‘It was her way of telling me to go out there and do well.”
Saab’s grandmother has been a rock in his life right from the start: “It was just me, my mum & my Nan when I was first born.”
“When my mum had me, she suffered from postnatal depression. She wasn’t in the right state to look after me at the time and in the first three months of my life, Nan was looking after me. She didn’t want to give me back to mum.”
His grandmother continued to help all the way up to his his 2021 breakthrough year: “Nan was always round my house, always coming over – she definitely played a massive role in raising me and she obviously raised a daughter as well. She’s done a very good job.”
Saab reminisced about the investment and love his Nan put into him in his youth: “When I was a kid she used to take me out on these ‘Jason and Nana days’, that’s what she used to call them. We would go to the movies and we’d do a lot as a kid. I’ve always been very close with Nan.”
The death of his grandmother was a difficult time of separation and his boots have become his way of saying thank you: “It’s hard not being there, there’s nowhere else I would rather be. I won’t get to see her in physical form again. It’s nice I can pay tribute to her with the boots for supporting me all my life and footy career.”
Fly well Jason!
Image source: Jason Saab Instagram and SMH
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