Farah's purple perspective on 'first world problem'
Unwanted Wests Tigers skipper Robbie Farah's contract woes has been put into perspective ahead of the club's Purple Our World clash with the Dragons this weekend.
Purple Our World is in name of raising awareness for pancreatic cancer, a disease which claimed Farah's mother Sonia three years ago. In recognition of the organisation's charity launch, the clubs will wear purple socks in support of stamping out the fourth-highest cancer killer.
In the period following the Tigers informing Farah he was free to play elsewhere next season despite having two years to run on his contract, the 31-year-old described the emotions involved amongst representing his mum at the same time.
"What I'm going through is a first world problem. It's football at the end of the day and there are people out there who are suffering a lot more than I am. There's nothing more important than your health," Farah said.
"It is emotional. When I was approached earlier on in the year [to be an ambassador], always in the back of my mind after mum passed away I wanted to do something to help this disease. For a couple of years I found it difficult to get involved because it does bring back memories.
"I think just over time you become a bit more comfortable though. It's been three years now and I think while it's hard to talk about I think it sends a strong message. Hopefully it can have a positive influence on somebody out there."
Farah too appears to have dug his heels in when it comes to his current contract situation, not seeing the Tigers' final game for 2015 as his last for the club.
"That's not even in the forefront of my mind. I love pulling on this jersey and I'll do it for as long as I can," he said.
"At the end of the day I haven't been sacked or anything like that. I have a contract there for two years and that's the way it is, that won't change.
"I just have to get on with the job because there's nothing to update. As things stands, I'm a Tiger and that's the way I see it."
For the second time in a matter of days Farah also quashed suggestions he and coach Jason Taylor can't have a positive relationship moving forward.
"There has been no issue from my end at all, and there won't be. I'm a professional. This has never been about me and Jason Taylor. I don't know how it's turned into that to be honest, because from my end it's never been an issue," Farah said.
"I think Jason Taylor is a great coach who is doing a great job at the Tigers, and for me, I've always been there to lead and be the captain of the club to the best of my ability. How it has turned into what it has, has blown me away. It's baffling."
Former teammate and upcoming opponent Dragons halfback Benji Marshall spoke in support of Farah and said he hasn't been surprised by the way his fellow Purple Our World ambassador has handled himself through a situation not too dissimilar to the way he left the Tigers.
"I'm not surprised [by the way he's handled himself]. He has had a lot of things not go his way in his life and he has dealt with them pretty well and come out the other side," Marshall said.
"I was in [a similar] predicament and I still had money owed to me after I left. For me to play for the Dragons last year I had to forfeit that money. No one knows that. It’s not about the money for me. It was never about the money.
"For me it was getting back to where I wanted to be and that was enjoying footy. I might not be as flashy or as brilliant as what people expect but I’m enjoying it.
"I just love playing footy. I love the defence side of things that I never really took a big interest in before."
Keeping in contact with Farah throughout the whole ordeal, Marshall brought forward a lighter moment between the two when he suggested the New South Wales vice-captain make his way down to Wollongong and throw on the Red V jumper from next year.
"I said to him we might have a spot opening at the Dragons if you want to come," Marshall said.
"He just wrote back 'ha-ha' – so I guess that’s a no."