Rugby league legend Wally Lewis SPLITS from his wife of 36 years and mother of his three kids – and reveals he’s in a mysterious new relationship
- Rugby league legend Wally Lewis has split from his wife of 36 years Jacqui
- Wally, 61, shares three adult kids with Jacqui including actor Lincoln Lewis
- The Queensland icon said the pair split last year and he had since moved on
Rugby league legend and Channel Nine commentator Wally Lewis has split from his wife of 36 years and the mother of his three children.
The Queensland icon, who owned the State of Origin arena in the 1980s and early 90s, revealed he quietly split with wife Jacqui last year.
‘This is a deeply personal matter that we do not want to discuss publicly,’ he said.
‘I want to acknowledge the pain and upset my family has gone through since Jacqui and I separated last year. I hope over time we can rebuild our ties and move on with life.
‘I will confirm I am now in another relationship and only ask for the media to respect our privacy.’
Lewis, 61, admitted it had been a ‘difficult time for everyone in the family’ and said the pair were still working through the details of the separation.
Rugby league legend Wally Lewis has split from his wife of 36 years Jacqui (pictured together in 2016)
Wally Lewis with his family, including actor Lincoln Lewis (left) and water polo star Jamie-Lee Lewis (also left)
The shock announcement comes just weeks after the NRL Immortal revealed how his battle with depression almost saw him take his own life.
Lewis, who had brain surgery in 2007 to combat daily seizures he had kept a secret since 1980, said he considered killing himself at his home in Brisbane when his then-wife Jacqui was running errands.
‘I had suicidal thoughts (after brain surgery) and found myself crying uncontrollably, for no reason,’ Lewis wrote in his recently released autobiography My Life, according to the Courier Mail.
‘I needed someone with me at all times.’
Another time Lewis walked past the pontoon on the canal at the back of his house and considered jumping in.
Thankfully, his thoughts quickly turned to his wife and three children and the chilling moment passed.
Lewis revealed he had since moved on with another woman, but kept her identity anonymous
Lewis owned the State of Origin arena in the 1980s and early 90s (pictured in action playing for the Kangaroos in 1998)
Lewis links his dark mindset to repeated blunt force trauma to the brain, which stemmed from his footy playing days.
‘Even as a junior, he was a marked man, getting concussed all the time,’ his mother June Lewis said. ‘I used to watch him in his bed while he slept.’
Lewis burst onto the scene as a teenager with Valley in 1978, quickly establishing himself as one of the premier players in the Queensland Rugby League competition before defecting to Wynnum Manly in 1984.
When the Brisbane Broncos were invited to participate in the Australian Rugby League (ARL) competition in 1988, he was the team’s pin-up boy.
He finished his club career with the Gold Coast Seagulls a few years later.
After retiring in 1992, Lewis made a successful transition into the media as a commentator with Channel Nine.
He was named an Immortal in 1999.
Wally Lewis: A rugby league icon
Born: 1 December 1959
Nickname: The King
Playing career (1978-1992): Brisbane Valleys, Wakefield Trinity, Wynumm Manly, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Seagulls
State of Origin: (with Queensland) 31 appearances between 1980-1991
Kangaroos caps: 34 appearances between 1981-1991
Named an Immortal: 1999