controversial Tongan born winger John Hopoate is a
Manly junior who made the first grade ranks with
Manly in 1993. In the seven seasons from 1993 to 1999
he scored 62 tries for Manly.
played 1 state of origin match for NSW and two tests
for Australia in 1995
unwanted by the Northern Eagles joint venture in 2000
and went to the other new joint venture Wests Tigers.
His problems there have been well documented and he
was sacked for his digital activities. Manly offered
him a lifeline late in the 2001 season and he quickly
made the Northern Eagles first grade team scoring 3
tries at the back end of the season.
he had another huge year until injured. At the time
he was injured Hoppa was breaking records in metres
gained in hit-ups and was sorely missed by Manly late
in the season. He was unlucky not to gain State of
controversy continued to plague Hoppa in 2004 when he
was given a lengthy suspension for abusing a touch
judge. He vowed to stay out of trouble in 2005 but in
round one against the Warriors in Auckland he swore
at a ball boy and round two against the Sharks at
Brookvale he was sent off for a soaring head high
mis-timed shoulder charge on young Sharks forward
judiciary suspended him for 17 weeks but this became
irelevant as Manly ended his career by sacking him in
terms of his contract. But Hoppa did not demonstrate
any bitterness, he accepted that Manly had no choice
in the circumstances and left the game with dignity.
He apologised to Keith Galloway and posted a message
on the internet thanking Manly fans and expressing
his love for and continuing support of the Manly
Hoppa, we'll miss you on the field but will welcome
you to Brookie with open arms to cheer on the mighty
A MESSAGE TO
MANLY FANS FROM JOHN HOPOATE
MARCH 23, 2005 (posted on
With my career now over, on behalf of my family I
want to thank the supporters of the Manly Sea Eagles
for their support during my career with the greatest
club in the world.
I bear no bitterness towards the club for
terminating my contract - they had no choice to do
what they did.
I knew before I went to the judiciary that my
career was over but I was still given the best of
legal advice through Alan Sullivan QC and my coach
Des Hasler who gave me great support.
The Manly club were fantastic in supporting me.
I want to make it clear that I don't want to go to
England to play and I don't want to play with any
My career is over and I have come to terms with
that. My life now will revolve around my beautiful
wife Brenda and my eight children.
I have asked for this space to be made available
so I can - on behalf of my mother Mele and my family
- thank Manly fans for the kind messages during the
many turbulent times in my career.
I promise I never tried to maim Keith Galloway. It
was simply a shoulder charge gone wrong. In a split
second I messed it up and I thank God he isn't badly
People are predicting I will play again. I won't -
if I can't play with the club I love then I won't
I left once and that was enough. I may have had
other colours on for a while but my heart was always
with Manly. I have played for Manly for NSW and for
Australia and I'm proud of that.
Please don't feel sorry for me. I am now prepared
for retirement with a clear mind and proud that I
will always be welcome at the Manly club.
I would also like to thank my team mates who have
been with me through the good and bad times. My best
wishes go to Manly for what I know will be a
successful season... I'll be at Brookie cheeering
them on. My one wish left in my football career was
to do a lap of honour after my final game with my
children. That now can't happen but not everything in
life ends the way you want it.