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Late ex-NRL star Chad Robinson laid to rest, his friends had no idea how depressed he truly was

“I knew there was a bit of depression in there… but not to the extent that we’ve now seen.”

By Ellie McDonald

A little over two weeks since Chad Robinson's family discovered he had tragically passed away, an emotional funeral service was held for the former Parramatta Eels and Sydney Roosters forward this morning.

Bringing together hundreds of Robinson’s friends, family and members of the NRL community together, those who loved the 36-year-old remembered him as a devoted father, a selfless teammate and a loyal friend.

Between the heartbreaking eulogies read by his friends and family, some of Chad’s former teammates expressed that they had no idea the demons their mate was battling on a daily basis.

“Chad was just one of those blokes that got picked every week and just did his job for the boys without any fuss,” Chad’s Parramatta teammate Mark Riddell told The Daily Telegraph.

“I knew there was a bit of depression in there… but not to the extent that we’ve now seen.”

“With Chad, I didn’t know it was that bad. That’s the sad part about it all.”

Another one of Chad’s Parramatta teammates, Mick Vella, says the last time he spoke to his friend, he appeared to be “fine” and was “talking to the boys like everything was normal”.

“I never would have thought this was on the cards at all,’ he confesses.

“He seemed to be going OK, and busy.”

But, sadly, this wasn’t the case.

On November 26, Chad left his Kellyville home with no shoes, no wallet and no phone, causing his family to begin the heartbreaking task of searching for him for the next four weeks.

Just three days before Christmas, electricity workers made the heartbreaking discovery, finding Chad's body at the bottom of a bushland gorge in his silver Suburu station wagon in the Sydney suburb of Kenthurst.

He was only 13km from home.

As reported by, the father-of-two appears to have left Marieba Road, clipping the top of a cliff before plunging down a rock face.

Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, and a post-mortem will be carried out to determine his official cause of death.

“Sometimes, if blokes don’t want to talk or do anything about it then it’s very hard for people to help them,” Riddell reflects. “I’ve been through it personally and our family really experienced the support that the community gives you. It blows you away when you realise how much people out there really care.”

Speaking out can save lives. If you, or someone you know, is going through a tough time or are feeling down, don't hesitate to contact beyond blue by visiting their website, or call 1300 224 636.

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