Ryan Tandy has been described as “reckless” but was looking forward to a new business venture and the launch of his book according to friends.
The former NRL player was found dead at his family’s Saratoga home on the Central Coast on Monday. It is understood the 32-year-old died of a drug overdose. Tandy was a known drug user.
Ryan Tandy during his controversial stint with Canterbury in 2010. Photo: Getty Images
Friends were shocked and saddened by Tandy’s death and were only recently told how excited he was after he reached near completion of his tell-all book.
Former teammate Bryan Fletcher, who played alongside Tandy at Souths in 2003, said it was “awful news”.
"I saw him about a month ago and he seemed in good spirits,” Fletcher told Fox Sports News.
Former NRL player Ryan Tandy leaves City Central Police Station in February 2011. Photo: Simon Alekna
“He was talking about getting into a new business and he lost a lot of weight and was training. The news is quite shocking and disturbing.”
Tandy was dragged into the spotlight again when Sydney’s popular radio host Ray Hadley repeated revelations surrounding Tandy’s friendship with a journalist on Monday morning. Tandy had been living at the Saratoga home as part of his bail conditions after he was charged in January with allegedly kidnapping a man over a supposed drug debt.
Police had alleged the former prop was the "hired muscle’’ for two other men who were trying to recoup money from the alleged victim. He was due back in court next month.
Police were called to the Saratoga address at 2pm on Monday following reports the former journeyman front-rower had died.
"On arrival police found the body of a 32-year-old man," a police statement said.
The death is not being treated as suspicious.
It is understood it was the footballer's mother who made the discovery.
Tandy’s 36-NRL game career ended after he was convicted of match fixing while playing for Canterbury against North Queensland in 2010.
He was fined $4000 and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond, with his conviction recorded as he attempted to make money off the first scoring play of the game.
Investigations were launched following a $30,000 betting plunge on the game.
RIP Ryan Tandy. Very sad news— robbie farah (@robbiefarah) April 28, 2014
Tandy, who was born in Wollongong in 1981, made his first-grade debut with St George Illawarra in 2003 before joining South Sydney midway through that season. He played with Hull in the English Super League in 2007 before playing two matches for the Wests Tigers in 2008. He played in Melbourne’s 2009 grand final win against Parramatta before making a mid-season switch to the Bulldogs the following season. Canterbury sacked him early in the 2011 season and he never played at NRL level again.
He returned to rugby league for French club Pia Donkeys in 2012 despite calls to cancel his registration.
Former teammate Steve Turner, who was with Tandy at Melbourne in 2009 and also played with him at the Bulldogs, was one of many players and league identities who took to Twitter to pay their respects.
In complete shock!!! Won a premiership with Ryan in 2009, a bloke who gave his all on the footy field. RIP— Steve Turner (@SteveTurner84) April 28, 2014
Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114