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Ian Roberts (rugby league)

Ian Roberts (born 31 July 1965) is an Australian actor, career wound down in 1998 under the increasing weight
model and former professional rugby league footballer of of injuries.
the 1980s and 1990s. A New South Wales State of Ori-
gin and Australian international representative forward,
he played club football with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, 1.2 State of Origin
Wigan Warriors, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and North
Queensland Cowboys. In 1995 Roberts became the rst Roberts made nine appearances for the New South Wales
high-prole Australian sports person and rst rugby foot- State of Origin team between 1990 and 1994. He was
baller in the world to come out to the public as gay.[1] an enforcer in the NSW forward pack. A t athlete, he
collapsed from exhaustion after a tireless eort in game
one of 1993. The Blues won six of the nine matches in
which Roberts played.
1 Football career

1.1 Club career 1.3 Post-playing

As a junior Roberts played for the Mascot Jets in the In 2000, Roberts was awarded the Australian Sports
Souths juniors competition. He made his rst grade Medal for his contribution to Australias international
dbut with the Rabbitohs in the 1986 Wineld Cup sea- standing in rugby league. He served on the National
son. During a stint with English club Wigan, Ian Roberts Rugby League's judiciary during the 2000s[6] and in
played Left-Second-row, i.e. number 11, (replaced by 2004 was named by Souths in their South Sydney Dream
Interchange/Substitute Rob Louw) in Wigan's 15-8 vic- Team,[7] which consists of 17 players and a coach repre-
tory over Oldham in the 1986 Lancashire County Cup senting the club from 1908 through to 2004. In 2005, he
Final during the 198687 season at Knowsley Road, St. was named one of the 25 greatest ever New South Wales
Helens, on Sunday 19 October 1986.[2] and played Right- players.[8] In March 2014, Roberts revealed that he has
Second-row, i.e. number 12, in Wigan's 18-4 victory over brain damage after being knocked out up to a dozen times
Warrington in the 198687 John Player Special Trophy in his playing career.[9]
Final during the 198687 season at Burnden Park, Bolton
on Saturday 10 January 1987.[3]
By the age of 21, Jack Gibson had described him as the
2 Life outside football
best front rower in the game,[4] and in 1988 Roberts
made the rst of ve appearances for City Origin team.[5] Roberts came out as gay in 1995, becoming the rst rugby
league player in the world to do so. He discussed his
Despite not having yet played for either New South Wales
sexuality in magazines and on television over the follow-
or Australia, Roberts signed a contract with the Manly- ing year. The NRL Footy Show principals Paul Vautin,
Warringah Sea Eagles in 1990. At the end of the 1994
Peter Sterling and Steve Roach appeared in a poster cam-
NSWRL season, he went on the 1994 Kangaroo tour. paign against homophobia conducted by the Lesbian and
After moving from the Rabbitohs to Manly he quickly Gay Anti-Violence Project. He was praised for helping
justied his value with State of Origin selection and a Test to question prevailing myths about gays and sport. Paul
debut against New Zealand. Roberts eventually made a Freeman wrote a book on Roberts, Ian Roberts Finding
Kangaroo tour, leading up front in Australias Ashes win- Out, which was published in 1997.[10]
ning 23-4 Third Test victory at Elland Road. Not long In 1999 Roberts was taken to court by Garry Jack over
after, Roberts signed with Super League despite his club an on-eld brawl that occurred in 1991.[11] Jack stated
and coach Bob Fulton remaining loyal to the Australian he was taking a stand against a beating he received from
Rugby League. He played in Manlys loss to the Bulldogs several Manly players. He attempted to sue Roberts for
in the 1995 ARL season's Grand Final. $100,000 in damages, alleging he suered shock, trau-
Roberts sat out the 1996 season due to injuries and a matic injuries to his face and eyes, cuts, headaches and
contract dispute related to the Super League war. In numbness, and was embarrassed by scarring to his face.
1997, Roberts signed with the North Queensland Cow- Jack and Roberts eventually settled the dispute out of
boys and moved to Townsville to captain the side. His court with Roberts handing over more than $50,000.


Roberts has stated he is a sex abuse victim,[12] and gave 4 References

evidence to the State Coroner of New South Wales in re-
gard to the murder of Arron Light, a street prostitute who [1] Peter, O'Shea. Out of the eld. The Advocate. Here
was set to give evidence against a paedophile syndicate. Publishing. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
Light disappeared in 1997, and his remains were recov-
ered in 2002. Roberts accused the same man who mo- [2] 19861987 Lancashire Cup Final. wigan.rlfans.com.
lested him in his teens of being behind Lights death.[12] 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
This story was the subject of an episode of the Australian
TV program Australian Story, entitled The Lost Boy, [3] 19861987 John Player Special Trophy Final.
which rst aired on 26 September 2005. wigan.rlfans.com. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1
January 2012.
Early in 2005, Roberts appeared in the second series of
the Australian television series Dancing with the Stars, [4] Tim Bauer. Atonement. Good Weekend. Pyrmont,
dancing with Natalie Lowe. He was runner up in the com- NSW: Fairfax Media (30 January 2010): pgs 17.
petition, losing out to Tom Williams.
[5] Ian Roberts. Rugby League Project. Retrieved 31 Jan-
Roberts appeared on the 17 April 2007 cover of The Ad-
uary 2010.
vocate magazine in an exclusive interview with Canadian
author and journalist Michael Rowe, along with a photo [6] Ritchie, Dean (19 September 2007). Cowboys want ex-
layout by celebrity photographer Eric Schwabel. Manly players o judiciary. The Daily Telegraph. Aus-
In September 2010, Roberts publicly criticised Aus- tralia: News Limited. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
tralian swimming star Stephanie Rice for calling the
South African rugby union team faggots on Twitter, [7] South Sydney Dream Team Archived 14 June 2007 at the
Wayback Machine. from the ocial South Sydney web-
branding her a complete idiot.[13]

[8] Origins 25 greatest named. Sydney Morning Herald. 30

March 2005. Retrieved 8 March 2010.

[9] Brad Walter (9 March 2014). Ian Roberts says he has

brain damage. Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24
3 Acting career May 2014.

[10] Paul Freeman (1997) Ian Roberts Finding Out, Random

Roberts nished playing professional rugby league in House Australia ISBN 978-0-09183-336-7
1998, and began studying at the National Institute of Dra-
matic Art in Sydney. In 2003 he moved to the United [11] Erin Tennant (3 September 2008). League player
States in search of acting opportunities.[14] charged over on-eld assault. Ninemsn. Retrieved 13
February 2010.
Roberts made a very brief cameo in the 2002 lm Star
Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones as a bartender
[12] Witness was grandstanding, says coroner. The Sydney
working in the Outlander Club where Obi-Wan Kenobi Morning Herald. 29 September 2006.
and Anakin Skywalker apprehend the bounty hunter Zam
Wesell. In 2005, Roberts had a brief cameo in the Aus- [13] Robertson, Greg (7 September 2010). Top Aussie swim-
tralian lm Little Fish, starring Cate Blanchett and Hugo mer loses Jaguar over anti-gay tweet. 3 News. Retrieved
Weaving, playing an ex-rugby league star. He appeared 4 October 2011.
in the 2006 motion picture Superman Returns as Riley, a
henchman of Lex Luthor. [14] From running on rugby league elds to acting on the Hol-
lywood big screen. Fox Sports. 11 December 2013. Re-
In 2009, Roberts appeared in the Australian television trieved 11 December 2013.
mini-series Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities, which
retells real life events of the drug trade in the New South [15] Sweetbriar, BeBe (29 May 2012). Rugby great Ian
Wales town of Grith between 19761987. The mini- Roberts takes rst gay role in 'Saltwater'". www.
series is a prequel to the 2008 mini-series Underbelly, edgeboston.com. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
which was about Melbourne gangland killings. Roberts
has a role as a body guard for George Freeman (played
by Peter O'Brien). The series began airing in NSW on
9 February 2009. Also in 2009, he starred in The Cut 5 Further reading
on ABC1 and had a small role in the lm Cedar Boys. In
2012 Ian landed his rst starring role in the lm Saltwater, Freeman, Paul (1997). Ian Roberts: nding out.
starring opposite Ronnie Kerr, which is also Ians rst role Australia: Random House. ISBN 0-09-183336-1.
playing a gay man.[15] ISBN 9780091833367.

6 External links
Ian Roberts at the Internet Movie Database

Australian Story Episode - The Lost Boy

(re)Search my Trash interview

7 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

7.1 Text
Ian Roberts (rugby league) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Roberts_(rugby_league)?oldid=776996785 Contributors: SatyrTN,
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Dl2000, CmdrObot, Dgw, Bradley1956, Vectro, Cydebot, After Midnight, Casliber, GLGerman~enwiki, Escarbot, RobotG, Format, J Mo
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Amoss12000, Aboutmovies, HoldenV8, Londo06, Jevansen, S (usurped also), Wikipeterproject, Varnent, SatyrBot, Razor 2020, Chewabo,
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