Melbourne's most popular man: Addo-Carr's rapid rise
Josh Addo-Carr still remembers where it was. The first time somebody in Melbourne stopped him because they knew who he was.
"Richmond," he says with a smile from ear to ear.
"I always go to Cheeky Monkey on Swan Street. We have a lot of fans in Richmond."
A year later and the Storm winger was the most popular member of the NSW team when they touched down in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues spent the afternoon at Luna Park in St Kilda, but the biggest carnival attraction was Addo-Carr.
They were screaming his name, begging for his attention.
With his booming laugh and trademark beard, "The Fox" was doing his best to take photos and sign autographs with the hundreds of fans that wanted a piece of the Melbourne cult hero.
Blues staff intervened to get him away, but such is the character of the man he replied "I feel so bad" for not getting to all of his adoring fans.
"There are more out west where all the Polynesian people live," Addo-Carr said when asked where he gets recognised most.
"Around Richmond area, you bump into a few more people. The obvious [ones are] the Cameron Smiths and the Billy Slaters. They can’t go out nightclubbing. I wouldn’t either. I’m growing slowly. I’m enjoying the support and the love."
Some players shirk from the challenge of playing in the pressure-cooker matches in front of large crowds. Not Addo-Carr, who showed that through his performance with the Storm in front of 80,000 people at ANZ Stadium in the grand final triumph over North Queensland last year.
"I like the big stage," he said.
"I like the atmosphere and the build-up. The State of Origin build-up has been the best. So much media. I don’t think I’ve seen so many cameras in the one place being down in Melbourne."
Addo-Carr has been asked for plenty of tickets from friends and family. He’s had to choose between them because he was only allocated eight tickets.
But there will be no doubt who will be the most supported player in a NSW jersey at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday night … the Fox.
"It came from my great grandfather," Addo-Carr said of the nickname.
"It was his surname. Mum started calling me Fox when I first started playing football and it’s stuck with me ever since."
Witness Australia's greatest sporting rivalry when Origin comes to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday, June 6. Bronze tickets available from $49 here.