Rugby League: Young Panther puts ahead of fame

HEAD ON: Panthers five-eighth Tyrone May is quickly making a name for himself in the NRL. Picture: AAP
HEAD ON: Panthers five-eighth Tyrone May is quickly making a name for himself in the NRL. Picture: AAP

Tyrone May could wish for fame, fortune or grand finals from his NRL career, but family will suffice. Just enough money for the boy from Mount Druitt to buy his clan a new house.

"My mum [Sally] loves the area and I've always dreamt about moving her out, but she says, 'if you ever move me out, just move me to a nice house in Mount Druitt'," May laughed. "She doesn't want to move. But I think the old man [Jay] wants to live somewhere nice near the beaches. I don't think mum would ever let him."

May, 21, has not only slipped into Matt Moylan's shoes, but he is walking so comfortably in them it's like he was made for the NRL.

Such has been his impact, Andrew Johns has campaigned for May to stay in the side if the Panthers skipper returns in the finals.

His "boys from Mounty", as he refers to his mates, joke they can't hang out with May anymore now he's a fully-fledged NRL player. But the boy hasn't even been taken out of Mount Druitt yet, let alone Mount Druitt been taken out of the boy.

One of five children, May still lives under his parents' roof. He is proud of that. Proud of the area he calls home. And the difference he can make to it.

"I think it's a bit crazy the stereotype of Mount Druitt," May said. "I don't think it's that bad. A few of the boys have come through from the area now. I didn't really see myself [as a role model] until I started playing NRL and realising the impact I can have off the field with kids from where I come from. [My parents] have done all they can for me and they still do. To repay the faith and do the best I can for them ... I want to make sure if I can that they don't work another day in their life."

So Jay and Sally will make the trip to Brisbane's cauldron, Suncorp Stadium, for the biggest game of their son's NRL career which stands at just eight games.

No task daunts like the Broncos on their own patch, but it pales to the summer sessions Jay put his son through after telling him he wanted to make it in the NRL.

"We have a little hill up in Tregear," May said. "You knew when you were training because [Jay] would say, 'make sure you drink a lot of water'. I used to think, 'oh no, here we go. He's going to come home from work and we're going to go up the hill'. I was lucky enough to have two brothers and they've gone through it just as much as I have.”

All in the hope of replicating that famous 1991 Panthers premiership he sees every time Greg Alexander ducks onto the training field to help with his kicking, or Royce Simmons wanders the corridors.

​Or maybe just in the hope of buying his parents some new digs. In Mount Druitt, of course.