Meet the Gympie man who taught JT
As The Gympie Times successfully campaigned for Johnathan Thurston to head to Gympie, JT's former teacher Andy Williams said "he always had a good attitude”.
Mr Williams was the HPE teacher and the rugby league coach at Nyanda State High School, Salisbury in 1998 and said JT's determination showed even at that age.
"He was in Year 10 and he showed potential even at 15 years old,” he said.
"JT was a character, he always had a smile on his face and was a personality.
"There were larger and stronger guys in the team but that didn't ever stop him.
"He had the right attitude and determination. JT was a competitor.”
Mr Williams, now a businessman in Gympie, said when JT made it in the NRL his name rang a bell.
"It was a colleague of mine which helped him get a chance of getting a scholarship at St Mary's College, Toowoomba,” he said.
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"We didn't know he was going to go on to be the best player but he was given the best chance to make it ... he was able to get better exposure.”
Despite being a Sydney Roosters supporter, Mr Williams always has a cheer for the North Queensland Cowboys.
"I have always followed JT's career and I have a soft spot for the Cowboys because of him,” he said.
"JT really has done an amazing job and has turned into such a great man.”
When asked if he was going to Gympie's An Evening with JT, Mr Williams said: "Definitely. I am looking forward to hearing about his life and career since I taught him.”
Tickets to An Evening with JT for December 10 at Gympie Civic Centre are available for $49, $99 or $199 for a meet and greet. They can be bought at www.major eventscompany.com/shows.