Lockyer bows out in style

DARREN Lockyer was on an absolute high yesterday as he opened up about the most emotional week of his football career, detailing critical behind-the-scenes moments in the Queensland camp and publicly thanking his teammates and coach Mal Meninga for making Origin III the stuff of dreams for him.

>> Write a tribute to departing Origin star Darren Lockyer

''Nothing seems to bother me today. It's like nothing can upset me,'' Lockyer told the Herald as he relaxed at home with family and close friends and tried to answer the overload of congratulatory messages he had received via emails, text messages and phone calls.

''There are literally hundreds of them,'' Lockyer said. ''It's been overwhelming. It's very much appreciated, and I'm truly humbled by it. Many of the messages are from people I know well, but there are others from people I either hardly know or haven't caught up with for a long time, and that's the humbling part of it.

''We go about our business playing footy and doing our job, but Origin is a lot more than just another footy game to a lot of people. There is always a lot of interest in it, and there was huge interest in last night's game. Even people who don't normally watch rugby league would have turned the television coverage on to see what happened.''

Lockyer, who will retire at the end of the year, had stressed that the Queensland players needed to concentrate on their jobs during the Origin series and not make it all about him. He didn't want them to lose focus on what they actually needed to do to win. But he knew in the lead-up to Wednesday night's game that the players made it their main goal to send him out properly.

Read more at brisbanetimes.com.au

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