Get to know Johnathan

Father to two girls, Frankie and Charlie, the man known as JT beat a hot field of devoted sports dads to be crowned champion, that field included NRL fellow stars Greg Inglis and David Klemmer, Richmond Tigers AFL captain Trent Cotchin, Socceroos captain and enforcer Mile Jedinak, two time Grand Slam winner and Aussie Davis Cup hero Lleyton Hewitt, Wallaby captain Stephen Moore, previous V8 Supercar championship winner James Courtney, Test cricket star Brad Haddin and captain of the all-conquering Kookaburras Mark Knowles.

“This is a great honour and I’d like to thank all the other contestants for giving up their valuable time to get involved,” JT said. “You just have to look at everyone’s profiles on the web page to see how great a father everyone else is. “We all make sacrifices to get where we are but our children and family are the inspiration behind whatever we achieve.”

JT is raging favourite to claim a record fourth Dally M Medal this year, eclipsing Immortal Andrew Johns’ tally of three. The Maroons Origin superstar will also lead the Cowboys into finals battle from next week looking to claim the club’s first premiership. Before all that he has a Father’s Day to celebrate. And what does the man universally regarded as the world’s best rugby league player do for Father’s Day? “I will be spending the morning with the family having a barbecue with my dad and Samantha’s dad before I fly to Sydney for media commitments to help promote the NRL finals,” JT said. The win also enables JT to donate $5,000 to his charity of choice, The Mark Hughes Foundation. “I saw an interview Sterlo did about Mark Hughes and his family and how he’s fighting brain cancer which really touched me,” JT said. “Ever since then I’ve wanted to help and raise awareness of this disease and I’m really pleased winning this competition allows me to do that.”

QHave you found it hard spending time away from the kids during your football commitments?

AI found it particularly hard being away from Samantha and the girls during the Origin period this year. I Face Timed them a few times each day but it’s not the same as being there with them.

QOn game days, do you like to relax with the kids or do you try to keep away from the family?

AGame day for me is like any other day and I spend the mornings with the family – the only difference being that I have a sleep in the afternoon before leaving for the game.

QWhat is your favourite activity with the kids?

ACharlie is a bit young to do anything with just yet but I love taking Frankie for a ride on my bike. I generally have to beg her to come for a ride with me but once she’s on we go exploring the neighbourhood and she loves it.

QDo you have a memorable moment with the kids at this early stage in their lives?

AIt’s hard to single out just one moment as I find the little day to day moments really special but I think having Samantha and Frankie at the third State of Origin game will be a memory that will be with me forever. I got really emotional watching them as I sang the national anthem.

QTell us about your wife Samantha?

AShe is amazing! Everything she does is for our family. She makes our house a home and ensures the girls and I have everything we need and she does all of that on four hours sleep sometimes!

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