Boyd Cordner has opened up about his heartbreaking decision to take early retirement from football as the NRL star lifted the lid on his life after multiple concussions.
Cordner, the former Roosters, Blues and Australia captain, retired aged 28 after a career marred by injuries and concussions. In 11 seasons, he made just 183 NRL appearances.
And speaking on SAS Australia, Cordner revealed the mental turmoil of early retirement and the side effects the concussion continues to have on him.
“In 2020, I retired due to a concussion,” he said. “I still suffer from symptoms now, including constant headaches, dizziness sometimes and sensitivity to light and noise.
‘It’s disappointing. I’ve suffered countless injuries since I was a child, and late in my career I went through a rough trot with a concussion. Dealing with the symptoms of a concussion, I had days where I would break down crying. It was a little too much for me.
Boyd Cordner has opened up about his heartbreaking decision to retire early from the NRL
The former Roosters star was forced to retire from the sport due to multiple concussions.
Cordner said he would ‘burst into tears’ as he opened up about the effects of a concussion
“I was captain of my club, state and country at that time and it was the most difficult time mentally. Ultimately it was my decision. I didn’t know what the next move would be head would bring.
“I had to put everything into perspective and define my long-term priorities. Memories are everything and they make up who you are as a person. These memories are priceless.
Cordner also reflected on his relationship with his mother, who died when he was just four years old.
“It’s not until you’re older and you look back on your childhood and you think, as good as it was, how different it would be if she was there or if she was still there to guide me or to be a mother.
“You would change everything to come back and find mom, but I was lucky to have the most loving family.”
Cordner’s future on the show is uncertain after he suffered a serious injury during one of the tasks. The contestants were asked to climb a rope in a helicopter over the sea but, as he jumped towards the rope, Cordner tore his pectoral muscle.
His future with SAS Australia remains uncertain after being injured during a task
“It’s pretty scary to think that what might prevent me from completing the course is my old body falling apart,” he said.
“If I had to stop or if I had to take that armband, I would feel like I had failed, that’s for sure.
“I’m my own worst critic and I know when I haven’t done something right. I’ve blamed myself for it.