Vote for our greatest sport dad
THE best team Johnathan Thurston has ever played for is his family.
Despite 37 State of Origin games, 39 tests for the Kangaroos, two NRL Premierships and received four Dally M Player of the Year titles, Thurston said fatherhood has been his greatest achievement.
"I love being a dad. There is nothing more important to me than being the best husband and father I can be," he said.
Rugby league's hero halfback is one of the 10 sports stars who has been nominated for The Philips Sports Dad of the Year.
"I try to be as active as I can in their lives. I take them ice skating, to hockey, to gymnastics … all their little activities," he said.
Since Frankie Louise, five, Charlie Grace, three, and Lillie Rose, one, came along, the Cowboy's co-captain said he has become an expert at changing nappies.
Retiring from footy at the end of the season was a tough decision, but JT is looking forward to spending more time being a dad.
"It's really hard, especially now the girls are old enough to understand and get upset when I leave," Thurston said.
"I try to get to all of Frankie's school events and take her to as many of her sporting events as possible. I will probably get more involved once I retire from football. I'd love to coach one of their teams one day."
NSW rival James Maloney is also up for The Philips Sports Dad of the Year award.
The cheeky Panthers five-eighth said he plays footy to make his kids proud.
"Hanging with them helps keep my mind off footy and makes the day go faster … I love doing anything outdoors with them," Maloney said.
"They've been there for all my big achievements. It's special to share things like a victory lap after a grand final and an Origin win. The kids also love to come into the sheds and watch the team song."
The Philips Sports Dad of the Year will be announced on Father's Day and receive $5000 to donate to a charity of their choice.
Thurston and Maloney will be up against Will Genia, David Klemmer, Trent Cotchin, George Burgess, Josh Kennedy, Sam Thaiday and Benji Marshall.
To vote, head to sportsdads.com.au