Penrith Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary has been spotted on his way home from the NRL grand final celebration wearing ski goggles with KFC napkins stuck to the front.
The NRL star spent the night partying after the Panthers’ grand final win on Sunday night against the Parramatta Eels.
The triumph marks the team’s second premiership win in a row, with players defeating fellow Western Sydney side 28-12.
Cleary was seen leaving Penrith Leagues Club shirtless early on Monday morning ahead of Mad Monday events.
Asked how it felt to celebrate the win with his father, former NRL player Ivan Cleary, he said: ‘It makes it a bit more special, but when you say that, it’s more about the group.’
Penrith Panthers celebrated their second straight premiership win on Sunday night (left, co-captain Nathan Cleary during the game, right, Panthers celebrating)
Penrith Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary (above) appeared shirtless wearing KFC glasses from Panthers League Club on Monday morning after NRL grand final win
“Just very blessed.”
He added that he ‘went home for an hour’s sleep’ before the club’s fan day.
‘Looking forward to it. That’s why I go home and sleep for an hour. I want to enjoy it more, he said.
‘I think it’s cool Para and Penrith were able to present in a grand final, Western Sydney, you know, all the way through. It has never happened before. They are both crazy. It’s pretty cool.
‘This is what you work hard for. At the start of the year you aim to try to get to this stage just to compete for the final and you know we did that this year.
‘We were lucky enough to win it. We have been doing it for the last three years. We lost one, won two. I definitely know what I prefer more.
Penrith Panthers won 28-12 against Parramatta Eels in Sunday’s NRL grand final match
Fans attended the grand final celebrations at the Penrith Panthers League Club on Sunday night
Penrith Panthers players celebrated their Premiership win at the team’s League Club on Monday morning
‘I just want to say a big thank you to the fans. Couldn’t do it without you guys. Thanks for all the support.’
Cleary joked that he managed to avoid damaging this year’s grand final trophy because: ‘I don’t want the fines’.
His teammates shared clips and photos of their wild night of victory online.
Apisai Koroisau was pictured showing off premiership rings before being brutally shut down over his plans to leave the team in 2023.
“You don’t win them at Tigers,” his teammate joked.
Viliame Kikau will also leave the team next year, along with assistant coaches Andrew Webster and Cameron Ciraldo.
Sunday night’s grand final win for the Panthers marks their second premiership win in a row (pictured, teammates Charlie Staines and Brian To’o hug after the game)
Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary (pictured centre-left with Issah Yeo) said it was a ‘blessing’ to be in the winning team
The Panthers’ dedicated fans celebrated their team’s second consecutive victory with the grand final game at home
Coach Ivan Cleary said the team members would be missed next season.
“It’s hard to put it into words. It’s definitely been an emotional 24 hours, I got a bit emotional yesterday. I don’t even know why, Cleary told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘I think it’s because of this moment in time. This team won’t stay together, it’s just such a great opportunity. You just want it to go well on the big night and I couldn’t have asked for more, the boys were incredible.
‘It is very sad that the players and coaching staff will not be together again.’
UFC star Bam Bam Tuivasa got in on the fun and was filmed doing a shoey with the team after the fight.
Five-eighth Jarome Luai posed for a photo with the trophy while smoking a cigar.
Panthers teammates shared photos and videos of their wild night on social media (pictured Jarome Luai smoking a cigar with the grand final trophy)
Panthers chairman Matt Cameron said the win was extra special because it was at home (pictured Jarome Luia and teammates celebrating)
Panthers chairman Matt Cameron said the celebrations continued well into Monday morning when the team could finally celebrate a premiership on their home ground.
The boys came back last night and had a function. They are still upstairs somewhere. We are across the road from the stadium. It will be a good day, he told Today.
“Obviously we did it in 2020 with reduced capacity at the ground and in the league club in 2021 they were in Brisbane.
‘Society didn’t get to celebrate it the way they wanted. Last night was a great opportunity. You have heard Ivan speak before, we are proud that the club is a source of local pride. I think we were able to tick that box last night.’
Coach Ivan Cleary said team members Apisai Koroisauwas, Viliame Kikau, Andrew Webster and Cameron Ciraldo will be missed next season (pictured, Apisai Koroisauwas and Ivan Cleary hug after the match)
Sunday’s win marked the Panthers’ second premiership win in a row with teammates eager to celebrate the victory on their home turf