No happy handshake ... Brett Stewart and David Gallop after the 2011 grand final. Photo: Anthony Johnson
NSW fullback Brett Stewart hasn't forgiven David Gallop for what he perceives as a lack of support when he faced a sexual assault charge back in 2009, and admitted he feared he would end up in jail.
Stewart, who was announced in the Blues team alongside brother Glenn on Sunday night, has made it clear there is still plenty of ill-feeling towards the ARLC chief, who handed Stewart a four-game suspension before he was acquitted of the charges.
Stewart believes the suspension was unwarranted, but Gallop remains adamant he made the right decision. Gallop has always said Stewart was banned because the fullback was under the influence of alcohol at the club's season launch, not because of the charge.
"I knew I was innocent" ... Brett Stewart. Photo: Getty Images
It all came to the fore during the grand final presentation last year, when Brett, as well as his brother Glenn, expressed their feelings towards Gallop in front of 80,000 fans at ANZ Stadium and millions more watching on television following Manly's victory over the Warriors.
Stewart didn't delve into what was uttered that night, but it hasn't changed his perception of Gallop.
"I'll keep that between him and me," Stewart has told the Daily Telegraph when asked about what was said on grand final day.
"It hasn't been spoken about this year but I haven't forgotten that he turned his back on me when I needed his support most."
The emotional and expensive battle to prove his innocence has had a major impact on Stewart's life.
While he never doubted his innocence, he conceded he feared he would end up behind bars.
"That was my biggest fear," he said. "I knew I was innocent but my fate was in the hands of 12 jurors. If they didn't see it for what it was, yeah, I would have been sent to jail.
"It could easily have happened. I think about it all the time and how unjust it would be if jurors got it wrong. Not just my case but anyone else."