The Storm players wore black armbands in the 50-22 win over Wests Tigers to honour a close aunty of winger Josh Addo-Carr who died in tragic circumstances.
Addo-Carr spoke after the win of the loss of his dear aunt and the close bond he shares with his family in Sydney, which is why he is seeking a release from his Melbourne contract to return there next year and play NRL with a Sydney-based club.
The 25-year-old, who scored two tries in another dazzling display for the Storm, kissed his wrist, where he had written ‘Aunty June’, when he scored.
"I lost a close family friend, my aunty yesterday through suicide,” Addo-Carr said after the match.
"It’s pretty tough at the moment.
"The whole reason I want to move to Sydney is for my family.
"To hear that another loved one has gone so soon is pretty upsetting. My family is going through a tough time at the moment.
"It’s tough going through this COVID stuff. It hasn’t hit me because I’m not with my family."
Addo-Carr is now one of the game’s elite players but he treasures the assistance his aunt gave him when he was not a household name.
"I used to live with her back in the day when times were tough," he said.
"I had Aunty June written on my wrist. I wanted to show my support back home to my family who are going through a tough time.
"We all had arm bands on. We found out late last night that she committed suicide."
The loss of his aunty has Addo-Carr thinking even more of his loved ones what influence he might have had if he was back in Sydney.
Match Highlights: Storm v Wests Tigers
"I’d like to think (I could have made a difference), but that’s part of life I suppose,” he said.
"I’m really feeling for my family at the moment. I couldn’t be there to support them. It’s pretty tough."
The Wests Tigers are one of the Sydney clubs keen to sign Addo-Carr but Storm coach Craig Bellamy said whether that happened this week or after the finals series was yet to be determined.
"The Tigers want him under certain situations and we want something in return," Bellamy said.
"That hasn’t been settled yet and if it doesn’t get settled this week we will put it off until we finish our season.
"We don’t want that distraction during the finals."
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Addo-Carr said he understood the Storm’s position entirely.
"I’m sweet with it," he said. "I’m leaving it to my manager to sort out. I’m happy to wait around.
"I’m just really enjoying my football and I treat every game the same and all of that outside noise doesn’t really get to me.
"I’m really enjoying my football at the Storm and I’m in a really good side at the moment – I’ve just got to catch the ball and run fast
"I’ve got good support around me. My teammates know what’s going on and I’m blessed to have good support."
Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire said he was unsure whether Addo-Carr would be with the club next year but added that he was a fan of what he could bring to his side.
"At the end of the day we have got to work through a things before we get to that so I am sure that will work itself out in time," Maguire said.
"I think you can see [what Addo-Carr would add to the Tigers] that from what he does each week. It is just the consistency of high level speed and his attributes of being able to return the ball.
"You give him a bit of space and he knows how to find it and he can really hurt you. He’s a top-quality player."
Help is available 24/7 for anyone who has mental health issues by calling Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14