Dean Young’s decision to retire at the end of the 2012 season had nothing to do with a lack of desire or loss of enthusiasm for the game.If he had his way, Young would play on until he is 40. But chronic knee problems have hastened the retirement plans of the 28-year-old utility forward and his small army of fans will have the chance to farewell him at WIN Stadium in the Dragons’ Round 25 clash against the Warriors.
Young will leave the game with a number of towering highlights including appearances for New South Wales and Australia but it will be hard to top the moment following St George Illawarra’s drought-breaking grand final victory in 2010 when he shared an embrace with his father Craig, himself a Dragons legend. Dean emerged from the Dapto Canaries junior club to make his NRL debut for St George Illawarra in 2003.
He started out as a hooker but was equally effective as a second-rower or lock. Young played some of his best football under coach Wayne Bennett, who admired his gritty forward as much as any player he coached in his long career.
Young represented Country Origin in 2010 and was rewarded for his contribution to the Dragons’ premiership win with selection for Australia in the end-of-season Four Nations tournament.
To help give Dean the send off he deserves at WIN Stadium, the Dragons are offering one FREE child ticket with every purchase of an Adult ticket for this Saturday's game.
Dean Young Stats:
|Born:||October 28, 1983, Sydney, NSW (age 28)|
|Points:||80 (20 tries)|
|First Grade Debut:||St George Illawarra v Parramatta at WIN Stadium, 23/3/2003 (Rd 2)|
|Club(s):||St George Illawarra 2003-12|
|Junior Football:||Dapto Canaries|
|Junior Rep Honours:||NSW Under-17s 2000|
|Grand Finals:||1 – St George Illawarra 2010 (W)|
|New South Wales:||State of Origins 1 (2011)|
|Australia:||Tests 1 (2010)|
Was named 18th man for Origin III 2006
Just like his father, Craig, Dean Young represented NSW in State of Origin, wore the green and gold of Australia and won a premiership with the Dragons.