Keith Titmuss was a humble young man who didn’t seek attention.
A young front rower from Sydney’s west who started his journey with the Manly Sea Eagles at the age of 14 after playing junior footy with the Cabramatta club.
Over the years, Keith worked hard on his game as he came through the junior representative ranks at Manly, winning several awards along the way.
Some of those included the 2017 SG Ball Player of the Year and the 2017 SG Ball Players’ Player. For Keith, this one was really special. He was all about his team-mates.
There was also a premiership for Manly in 2017 where he famously dived over the line in the 79th minute to snatch victory for the Sea Eagles as team-mates came running in from all angles to celebrate. It was Manly’s first U20s premiership.
For all of those awards and moments, Keith just took things in his stride. There was no fuss. To him, it was about earning the respect of his team-mates and coaches. To let his actions do the talking. It was his way. He was known for his loyalty, humility, and kindness.
His hard work paid off too, rewarded with his first NRL top 30 contract for 2021 with the Sea Eagles. Keith was destined to make his NRL debut for Manly next year.
It is why his sudden passing on Monday, at the age of 20, after falling ill after training shocked and saddened so many, not only his cherished family, his team-mates, the Manly Club, but the wider rugby league community in general.
He was loved and respected by all. It is why the Sea Eagles held a Club Memorial Service at its Narrabeen headquarters this morning. To not only honour Keith, but to come together as one.
Keith’s parents, mum Lafo, dad Paul, brother Jesse, and sister Zara, were joined by their extended family and friends as guests of the Sea Eagles.
Manly players, ranging from junior reps through to the NRL squad, formed an inner circle around the immediate family to show their love and support.
Nearby, Manly coaching staff, trainers, officials, administration staff, and board members, paid their respects.
In keeping with Samoan tradition, a special wreath was presented to Sea Eagles Captain Daly Cherry-Evans, on behalf of the Club by a group of Keith’s lifelong friends and team-mates.
Daly then presented the Titmuss family with an embroided Manly jersey featuring the words of ‘Keith Titmuss, 623’, meaning Keith is now part of the Manly Club’s first grade honour roll, sitting alongside some of the maroon and white’s greatest.
It was a beautiful gesture, a heartfelt moment held in complete silence.
His brother, Jesse, spoke openly about the love Keith had for rugby league and for the Manly club. How each day he was living out his dream. Keith was his ‘rock’.
Keith Titmuss may not have fulfilled his goal of playing first grade for his beloved Manly but his legacy will forever remain in the hearts of the Sea Eagles family.