Brett Stewart will reclaim best: Lowe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brett Stewart will reclaim best: Lowe

By Ben Horne 29/09/2010 08:00:02 PM Comments (0)

Manly chief executive Graham Lowe says he has no doubt Brett Stewart will overcome his personal scarring and return to the pinnacle of the NRL.

The Sea Eagles star was on Wednesday cleared of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl and will return to training with team-mates in November after the most taxing period of his life.

Lowe revealed raw emotion was felt in the Sea Eagles offices when a phone call came through on Wednesday morning confirming that Stewart had been found not guilty.

The Manly CEO said the former NSW and Australian fullback's inner strength would see him assume his place amongst the game's best, despite the personal trauma and a serious knee injury, which he is also recovering from.

"I've got not the slightest doubt he's got a courage and a mental toughness that few people can even imagine," Lowe told AAP.

"Any conversation you have with him, he's such a quality person that you just know he's got a resolve in him that will meet any challenge that gets in front of him.

"He's just going through his rehab process (knees) and I think he's going to come back just the sparkling player he was that people know him as."

Lowe said he was personally moved when he received the good news.

"The joy around the place this morning when the result came out was like nothing I've seen before," he emphasised.

"Everybody's had an absolute belief in him and to a certain extent while you can never imagine his personal pain, they've certainly shared a degree of pain along the way as well.

"It was quite remarkable actually the look on the faces of the people in the staff down the end, it was bloody wonderful to see and experience.

"It's a great result and it's put closure on something that we had no control of and it's just a relief obviously for Brett and his family and it's the same sort of relief for the club as well."

There's no doubt that the fullback's reputation has taken a massive hit throughout the ordeal, and Lowe said that while now is not the time to think about it, Stewart will know himself the people who owe him an apology.

The NRL removed Stewart as the face of their advertising campaign when the scandal broke weeks before the start of the 2009 season, and league boss David Gallop said in a statement on Wednesday that he welcomed the non guilty verdict.

Lowe said Manly will have no hesitation reinstating Stewart as one of their leading ambassadors.

"Absolutely, he always has been. This is the thing ... no one's ever wavered in their belief in him and their support of him. No one's ever wavered from that," Lowe said.

"You can't have something like that hanging around with it not having an effect but the fantastic thing about the whole thing really is Brett himself ... I never saw him down. He always put others before himself and just the way he conducted himself through the whole thing was just unbelievable.

"The NRL will be really pleased about it and rightly so."

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