After 144 games for the Titans, the Gold Coast farewells one of its favourite sons – Ryan James.
When James was a 19-year-old making his NRL debut in 2010 he was paired up with then 33-year-old Preston Campbell, he has since travelled extensively with Preston the man who inspired the All Stars concept on visits to remote Indigenous communities.
Ryan has closely followed in his mentor’s footsteps, to unite and inspire the Indigenous Community by spearheaded the club’s programs including Titans Deadly Futures and becoming a key member of the Titans Reconciliation Action Plan working group.
All while managing to juggle the demands of completing a Bachelor of Business, a young family, his professional Rugby League commitments, as well as being the clubs most active player in the wider community.
Titans great Preston Campbell says you could tell from a young age that James was going to be highly regarded.
“It is always easy to tell whether somebody is going to do alright in the game of rugby league by the way they carry themselves and Ryan was one of those young people,” Campbell said.
“He was always respectful and a very humble young boy.
“Being a local fella, he was really proud of the opportunity he got at the Gold Coast Titans.”
Former team-mate Greg Bird joined the well-wishers.
“Congratulations on everything you have achieved as a player and as a captain of the Gold Coast,” Bird said.
“It was always a pleasure playing with you and I know you’re going to kick on and get back on the field and kill it again.”
Renee Cohen (Titans General Manager of Community) says it’s about more than on-field achievements when you talk about Ryan James.
“You’ve done so much for so many people and you’re an important part of getting the club to where it is right now,” Cohen said.
“As both Paul Broughton and Ken Stephen medallist you have inspired so many young indigenous players and students to believe in themselves and what they can achieve. I just want to say a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you’ve done for the Club and the community.”
The Titans wish Ryan well as he continues his NRL career at the Canberra Raiders in 2021.