The rugby league community laments the loss of Carl Webb, a shining star of Origin, who tragically succumbed to Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 42.

Rugby league is mourning the loss of former Queensland and Australian player Carl Webb, who passed away at the age of 42 after a four-year battle against Motor Neurone Disease. Webb, known for his physicality on the field, played 187 first-grade games for the Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys, and Parramatta Eels. He also represented Queensland in 12 Origin matches and Australia in one Test in 2008.

Webb was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2020 at the age of 39. This progressive neurological disorder affects the body’s muscle-controlling cells, leading to difficulties in movement, speech, and breathing.

Despite the challenges, Webb fought his illness for four years. However, his condition worsened after a fall at his home in Dalby, his hometown in Queensland’s Western Downs. Webb’s rugby league journey began in Dalby when he was discovered by a scout at the age of 15.

Webb made his first-grade debut for the Brisbane Broncos in 2000 and quickly impressed coach Wayne Bennett, earning a spot in the Queensland side the following year. His impact on the Origin stage was immediate, scoring a sensational try in his debut match and helping Queensland secure a win over NSW.

Webb’s reputation as a player was not only based on his skills but also on the fear he instilled in opposing teams. His boxing background contributed to his tough and aggressive style of play. After his time with the Broncos, Webb joined the North Queensland Cowboys and played 115 games over six seasons. He reached the pinnacle of his career in 2008, representing Australia in the Centenary Test against New Zealand.

Webb’s final year as an NRL player was with the Parramatta Eels in 2011, but injuries limited his appearances. In 2010, he also competed in the inaugural match of the Indigenous All Stars. After retiring, Webb returned to boxing but faced challenges both inside and outside the ring.

Despite the difficulties he faced, Webb showed tremendous bravery throughout his battle with Motor Neurone Disease. The Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, Peter V’landys, recognized Webb’s toughness and extended condolences to his family, friends, and former teammates.

In 2021, Webb founded the Carl Webb Foundation. He is survived by four children.

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