Rugby League legend Greg Alexander has given a rare insight into the grinding pain he still feels about the tragic death of his younger brother 27 years ago.
Ben Alexander, 20, was a promising star for the Penrith Panthers alongside his older brother before his life was tragically interrupted when he made the fatal decision to get drunk behind the wheel and hit a high voltage pylon.
His death in June 1992 rocked the rugby league world and the close-knit western Sydney community that had celebrated its first premiership nine months earlier.
Now he has an NSW Origin Blues selector, Alexander opened himself in the death of his brother in a powerful new advertising campaign that will soon be launched, aimed at young drivers who want to save lives.
Greg Alexander (right) tried to convince his brother Ben (left) to stay in Penrith Panthers' team function during the ill-fated night that Ben was driving under the influence of alcohol
An emotional Alexander describes his little brother in the video as & # 39; the most outrageous personality & # 39; who was the life of the party.
He also remembers the ill-fated night in which Ben and a few players decided to leave a team position where they had just been given their premiership blowers to start in a night club.
& # 39; I almost let him stay with me, & # 39; Alexander remembered in the video as he fought tears.
& # 39; He was with his friends, so I didn't insist. & # 39;
Alexander admits that he does not know how he continued to play in the years that followed and eventually left the Panthers to end his competition career in New Zealand.
& # 39; I did what I knew, but I did it without emotion & # 39 ;, he says in the video.
& # 39; We have been working for 27 years now and I look back and think how long it really took before I could live as a normal person, it took years & # 39 ;, he said.
It was later reported that when Ben crashed 16 miles away in Colyton, his blood alcohol level was 0.14, almost three times the legal limit.
Ben Alexander was almost three times over the border when he lost control of his car
His brother Greg hopes that he can help save lives on the roads by sharing his broken heart.
& # 39; Ben wasn't a reckless type of person, but he was that one time. That one time he cost his life, & he said.
One of Ben's best friends, Brad Fittler from NSW Blues, also appears in the video to recall the impact the tragedy had on the entire Penrith community.
Then, just 20, he was out with his Australian Kangaroos teammates when he received the tragic news from Captain Mal Meninga.
The accident also changed Fittler's beliefs about driving under the influence, which until then was & # 39; something we just did & # 39 ;.
& # 39; From that day it was an absolute no. I never got into the car again under the influence of alcohol, & said Fittler.
Ben & # 39; s death has also taken a personal toll from another close friend, Panther's teammate and brother-in-law Mark Geyer, who left the Panthers at the end of the 1992 season.
The powerful new video is part of the Knock-On Effect campaign, a collaboration between Transport for NSW and the NSW Rugby League.
Brad Fittler (left) and Greg Alexander (right) were the bearers of Ben's funeral in 1992
The campaign coincides with this year's State of Origin series, which starts on June 5 in Brisbane.
Alexander admitted that doing the video was a difficult but necessary thing to do.
& # 39; I've probably never done that before and go back to how I felt before the fall of Ben. It was pretty hard to do but it didn't bother me, that I felt that way, he said The Daily Telegraph.
& # 39; I just knew that if this is a campaign to try and get people to notice, I think this will attract people's attention. & # 39;
NSW transport minister Andrew Constance publicly paid tribute to Alexander for sharing the heartbreaking story.
& # 39; This is very difficult for him and he does to save lives & # 39 ;, he told reporters on Sunday.
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