Penrith Panthers star Nathan Cleary separated from mum for months
Penrith Panthers star Nathan Cleary separated from mum for months

Mum still can’t give Nathan a kiss … even if Panthers win

Celebration or consolation, Bec Cleary won't be able to smother her superstar son Nathan with hugs and kisses when the whistle blows to end Sunday's NRL grand final.

Just like she hasn't been able to actually touch him for the past four months, she'll be reduced to blown kisses and waves from the stands because of COVID distancing precautions.

All 34 Panthers and Storm grand final players will be kept apart from family and friends at full-time, and Bec Cleary opened up on the eve of the game to the The Saturday Telegraph about the frustrations of the NRL bubble keeping her apart from the 22 year old Penrith halfback.

Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary and his wife Bec, who hasn’t been in close contact with her son Nathan for months. Picture: Tim Hunter
Penrith Panthers coach Ivan Cleary and his wife Bec, who hasn’t been in close contact with her son Nathan for months. Picture: Tim Hunter

"You just want to give them a big hug but you can't touch them," Bec said.

"They had an open training session on Tuesday night so I picked up our younger kids and took them out to Penrith so I could see Nathan and blow him a kiss.

"We wave to him at games - other than that we haven't seen him for months.

"We do a lot of air kissing and blowing kisses from afar or FaceTime him.

"Our three other kids really miss him. They are really close."

Panthers star Nathan Cleary will play in the 2020 NRL grand final. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Panthers star Nathan Cleary will play in the 2020 NRL grand final. Picture. Phil Hillyard

Nathan will also a miss a 23rd birthday kiss from Bec on November 14 as he will be in Brisbane preparing for Origin III.

"We have little things planned for when he gets out of the bubble," Bec revealed.

"I keep texting him so he's got something to look forward to. He just says 'okay, mum. That's great'.

"It's a small sacrifice we've had to make and a good problem to have."

Their separation won't end until Nathan's State of Origin commitments, and bubble, finish with NSW on November 18.

Bec has been restricted to text messages and FaceTime calls or relaying messages to Nathan via her husband and Penrith coach, Ivan.

Nathan Cleary with his mum Bec. Picture: Instagram
Nathan Cleary with his mum Bec. Picture: Instagram

Bec will be the first woman since Penny Lang to have a husband/son combination involved in a NRL grand final.

Coach John Lang masterminded Penrith's shock 2003 win over the Roosters, with son and front-rower Martin playing a major on-field role.

Bec revealed Ivan was totally relaxed ahead of Sunday night's decider, chilling most nights with a glass of wine or a beer in the spa at the family's home on Sydney's northern beaches.

The Panthers boss has also thrown himself into his wife's new business venture - Pinot & Picasso at Newport.

"It's all about getting together with friends over a wine and having a chat and a laugh as you paint anything from your favourite animal to a landscape," Bec explained.

"All the paint and canvasses are provided as there is an art instructor to help guide you through it step by step.

"Ivan and I tried it and loved it. We each painted a boat at night on the ocean.

"He asked me if he could take mine and hang it in his office at work, so I guess I will take that as a compliment."

Bec is now hoping for a picture-perfect end to the Panthers' stellar 2020 season.

Originally published as Mum still can't give Nathan a kiss … even if Panthers win



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