Latrell Mitchell’s status as an rugby league rock star became apparent on Friday when Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou was yelled at by a group of kids to get closer to the South Sydney number one.
When the Rabbitohs train at Ballymore Stadium, the spiritual home of the Queensland Rugby League, Mitchell is the star who draws hundreds of young fans.
After watching the homegrown superstar practice with his teammates for over an hour, students from the local Hymba Yumba Independent School rushed to meet Mitchell as he completed his croquet play-off, rushing past Demi Trieu, reporters and photographers, who are taking his weekly news coverage. Meeting.
“Wow,” was all Demetrieu grinned as Mitchell’s fans flocked from one end of the stadium to the other.
“I haven’t seen anything like it. [Mitchell] Rock stars when it comes to notoriety and fame, especially in Indigenous communities, and rightly so.
“He’s given a lot of time and commitment to being proud to be an Indigenous man and they love him for it.”
Mitchell posed for selfies, signed anything the kids could get their hands on and wished friends and family far away a happy birthday, while his team-mates waited patiently on a South Sydney bus.
“I’m just trying to do my part in the community,” Mitchell said of the focus.