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Former NRL player Ryan Tandy dead at 32

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Nick Ralston and Michael Carayannis

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Ryan Tandy found dead

Disgraced former NRL player Ryan Tandy has been found dead at his family's Central Coast home on Monday.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114

25 comments so far

  • Condolences to Family and friends who I'm certain must be suffering right now

    Commenter
    Nicolas
    Date and time
    April 28, 2014, 5:22PM
    • "Won a premiership with Ryan in 2009".....? I don't recall Melbourne winning that premiership, Steve..... your memory must be playing up....

      Commenter
      Jimmy Crocodile
      Date and time
      April 28, 2014, 5:42PM
      • Poor memory. They won it, celebrated it, drank beer, got the tattoo. its a memory . It happened. Parramatta will recall coming 2nd.
        And yes, it only lasted 6 months, when they lost it for paying players too much, and now they are no longer premiers of 2009 (officially) , but for 6 months or so, they were.....and this Tweeter is right, he remembers winning a premiership with him.....as for the Tattoo's .....

        Commenter
        Docklands
        Location
        Dave
        Date and time
        April 28, 2014, 6:15PM
      • Dockland Dav, I can't see their name written on the premiership. I can sing and drink beer, but that really mean I've won something

        Commenter
        AussieMopar
        Date and time
        April 28, 2014, 6:34PM
      • Makes it hard for the game to go forward when the people who follow it always look backwards , Condolence to family and friends.

        Commenter
        Brett
        Date and time
        April 28, 2014, 7:52PM
      • @Brett - Sure. I guess we can all stop brining it up when the players do!

        Commenter
        Wally
        Date and time
        April 28, 2014, 9:33PM
      • The issue is not about the 2009 premiership, it is about the tragic passing of talented athlete far too young

        Commenter
        Ali
        Date and time
        April 28, 2014, 10:05PM
    • No one's perfect. It's very sad to lose this colourful character. RIP mate.

      Commenter
      PS
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      April 28, 2014, 6:01PM
      • Sad so very sad, one’s life and death are so intricately intertwined with those one associates with that when something extraordinary happens it can usually be traced back to a decision made by that individual somewhere along their journey. Vale Ryan Tandy.

        Commenter
        RTP
        Location
        Sawtell
        Date and time
        April 28, 2014, 6:11PM
        • Terribly sad. Condolences to Ryan's family and friends at this very difficult time

          Commenter
          curaeus
          Date and time
          April 28, 2014, 6:22PM

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