Returning Titans lock Jai Arrow says he hopes retiring fullback Michael Gordon will stay involved with the club to help nurture and mentor the Gold Coast’s next generation of backline stars.
Gordon has announced that this year will be his last in the NRL after a remarkable 14-season career spanning five clubs and more than 250 first-grade games.
He will be missing from this weekend’s game against the Dragons in Sydney after injuring his hamstring in last weekend’s loss to the Roosters.
The man known universally as “Flash” has been a tremendous asset for the Titans in his two seasons at the club, with his on-field leadership and experience partnered with an unwavering commitment to community work.
Arrow says Gordon has been a mentor to many of the players in the Titans squad, and hopes the 35-year-old will continue to play that role even after he hangs up the boots at the end of the season.
“He is an absolute legend,” Arrow said. “You talk to anyone around the NRL scene, and everyone calls him the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).
“There are a few boys here that have gotten really close with him.
“For myself, Flash has a great mentor and a greater player for the game for so long. Obviously he deserves the accolades he gets.
“He has played over 250 NRL games. It is pretty hard to do. To play one NRL game is an achievement but to play over 250 is enormous.
“He has been great for the club and hopefully he can stick around and do some things – to teach guys like AJ (Brimson) and the younger guys coming through in the outside back and fullback position.
“Hopefully he can stay around and teach them the trade and have them playing like he has played his whole career.
“He has been nothing but courageous and a wonderful player for the game.”
Centre Kallum Watkins also praised Gordon for helping to make his transition to the NRL easier since his mid-year move to the Gold Coast from England.
“He has been fantastic, Flash, in terms of welcoming me into the team,” Watkins said. “We’ve had conversations about family and how he has gone in terms of his career.
“He has had a phenomenal career. It is going to be a sad day that he is retiring. But he can look back and very proud of what he has achieved and what he has done in the NRL.
“He has been fantastic (on the field), but at the same time he is a great person as well.
“It has been a pleasure to get to know him in this short space of time.”