The NRL will donate a dollar from every ticket sold for round-19 fixtures which has been renamed the RiseForAlex round.
The NRL has announced round 19 of this season will be dedicated to stricken former Newcastle back-rower Alex McKinnon.
McKinnon, who was left paralysed following a lifting tackle in the Knights’ clash with Melbourne earlier this season, is undergoing rehabilitation in a Sydney hospital.
Already promised a job for life by NRL chief Dave Smith, plans were announced on Tuesday in Brisbane to donate a dollar from every ticket sold for games played between Friday July 18 and Monday July 21 – which has been renamed the RiseForAlex round.
“Alex McKinnon has brought the rugby league community together like never before with his positive attitude and contagious smile,” Smith said at Suncorp Stadium.
“Through the toughest of times, he has continued to display a brand of courage, determination and spirit that lifts everyone around him.
“Alex represents a true role model for everyone in the game.
“The rugby league community support one another in times of need and we are calling on fans to come together for Alex McKinnon.”
Queensland and Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith also revealed the Storm would contribute an additional dollar from each ticket sold from their clash with Canberra at AAMI Park on July 19.
The Nine Network’s Footy Show will be telecast from Newcastle on Thursday July 17 and will feature a telethon with all monies raised going towards a fund to support McKinnon.
McKinnon said in a pre-recorded message that he had been blown away by the support he had received from the rugby league community and his return to Newcastle for the Knights’ clash with Gold Coast was going to be an emotional moment.
“Being at the game in round 19 is going to be a great occasion,” McKinnon said in the video message.
“Newcastle has looked after me and the whole community has looked after me over the last few months. I am really looking forward to going to the game.
“With the community of the NRL, my family, Teigan, all my mates and everyone from Newcastle, it hasn’t been easy but they have made it a lot easier and I would just like to say thank you.”