“The Day I Almost Jumped”: Rugby legend Wally Lewis reveals how close he was to killing himself while battling depression as he opened up to the ups and downs of his life – and how bizarre it was designed
- Footy legend Wally Lewis had suicidal thoughts due to his persistent seizures
- He believes the seizures were caused by a blunt force trauma to the brain
- His autobiography tells how he was conceived out of wedlock in a truck
Rugby legend Wally Lewis shared how he nearly committed suicide while battling Depression.
The Queensland icon, who owned the home state arena in the 1980s and early 1990s, was considering killing himself at his Brisbane home when his wife Jackie was running errands one day.
This was followed by brain surgery by Lewis in 2007 to combat the daily seizures he’d been keeping secret since 1980.
Only close friends, Gene Miles, Paul Vautin, Wayne Bennett, and Allan Langer, knew of his condition, and they were all sworn to secrecy.
Wally Lewis with his family including actor Lincoln Lewis (left) and water polo star Jamie-Lee Lewis (also left)
Dubbed “Queensland’s Most Popular Man”, Wally Lewis is always considered a footballing legend
“I had suicidal thoughts (after brain surgery) and cried uncontrollably for no reason,” wrote Lewis in his recently published autobiography My Life, according to Courier Mail.
“I always needed someone with me.”
Another time Lewis passed it Pontoon on the canal behind his house and considered jumping in.
Thank GodHis thoughts quickly turned to his wife and three children and the cool moment passed.
Lewis associates his dark mindset with a repeated blunt force trauma to the brain that stems from his soccer game days.
“Even as a junior, he was a big, worried man,” said his mother June Lewis. “I watched him in his bed while he was sleeping.”
Wally Lewis (pictured right) has been married to his wife Jackie since 1984 and has three children
Actor Lincoln Lewis (pictured left) with his sister Jamie-Lee Lewis
Lewis also revealed the bizarre way it was designed – in the back of a pickup truck on a hot night in the suburbs of Brisbane.
Upon examining the final details of his book, the man affectionately known as “The King” discovered that on July 25, 1958, his parents were indeed not married.
“They were actually married exactly one year later (7/25/59),” said Lewis.
“That’s four months and a week before yours was really born … so mom was walking down the aisle of St Paul’s Anglican Church on Vulture Street (in Brisbane’s business district) with a bun in the oven!”
Starting out with Valley in 1978 as a teenager, Lewis quickly established himself as a leading player in the Queensland Rugby League competition before moving to Wynnum Manly in 1984.
When the Brisbane Broncos were invited to compete in the Australian Rugby League (ARL) in 1988, he was the team’s pin-up boy.
A few years later he ended his club career with the Gold Coast Seagulls.
After retiring in 1992, Lewis made a successful transition into the media as a commentator.
For confidential assistance, call LIFELINE: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
Wally Lewis: A Rugby League Icon
Born: December 1, 1959
Nickname: The king
Playing career (1978-1992): Brisbane Valleys, Wakefield Trinity, Wynumm Manly, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Seagulls
Country of origin: (with Queensland) 31 appearances between 1980-1991
Kangaroo caps: 34 appearances between 1981-1991
Referred to as immortal: 1999