She might not have been there to see it, but there was a part of Sonia Farah out on ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night that helped inspire NSW to victory.
Having dedicated the long-awaited series victory to his late mother, Robbie Farah revealed that he wore the bracelet his mother wore during her eight-month battle against cancer in NSW’s long-awaited triumph at ANZ Stadium.
A religious bracelet provided his mother with the strength to fight her battle and was the same source of inspiration that inspired Farah to dig deeper than a place he had ever been before.
A day after the Farah family mourned the second anniversary of their mother’s passing, the NSW vice-captain paid tribute to his mother by wearing her treasured possession on his right wrist for one of the happiest moments of his career.
“She wore it the whole time she was crook,” Farah said as he choked back tears.
“My mum was pretty religious. It was blessed from a saint. It gave her strength and it brought me some strength, too.
“It’s the first time I’ve worn it. I just kept looking down at it when times were tough. It just kept me going and it brought a bit of luck to us.”
The last game Sonia Farah watched her son play was his incredible 63-tackle feat in game two of 2012, from a bed at Concord Hospital, where she passed away four days later.
Before Wednesday, Farah did not know where his mother’s bracelet even was.
But when he found out after a text message from his sister on the morning of the game, Farah was always going to take it out into battle with him as a constant reminder of who he was playing for.
“This bracelet was really special to mum,” Farah said. “My sister messaged me this morning and she was wearing the other half. She asked me if I wanted to wear the other half. I told her to bring it and she dropped it off at the hotel. I never knew my sister had it, to be honest. When she asked me if I wanted to wear it, I didn’t hesitate. I knew it would give me the strength to get through this game.
“This jersey means the world to me, and every time I put it on it reminds me of her. I went out and played for her tonight. It was so good. I think she’d be in tears, I don’t think there would be too many words said.”
In the midst of celebrations within an hour of the Blues sealing their first series win since 2005, Farah posted a photo of his mother on Instagram, saying: “Cheers Mum We did it!!!!!!!!”
Having tasted premiership success with the Tigers in 2005, Origin was the final hurdle for Farah to overcome.
But he admits that after being dropped from the side in 2009, there were times he believed he would never get the opportunity to right the wrongs.
“When you work so hard for something for so many years, through all the tough times after I got dropped in ’09, then to come back and everything that happened with mum … to lose two deciders in the last couple of years – I’ve never wanted anything more in my life,” Farah said.
“To finally get it buries all the demons. At times, after a couple of years in the wilderness, there were times you think you’ll never get back. But I never doubted myself when there were people out there who doubted me. I know the player I am, my teammates know the player I am, and I just needed the chance to prove myself.
“To come back here and have a chance to be vice-captain and captain the side last year, it’s the proudest moment of my life. I was just an innocent little kid when we won the comp. That was a great win and this is right up there with that. When you’ve been through so many tough times, it makes it all the more sweeter, and this is as sweet as it gets.”