Tonight, the Dyldam Parramatta Eels face the Cronulla Sharks for the Johnny Mannah Cup, a tradition started last year to celebrate the memory of the late Jonathan "Johnny" Mannah.
Johnny Mannah was a big man with a big heart, and despite only playing 24 matches in the NRL, Jon Mannah’s impact as a person has left a big impact on both the Eels and the Sharks in his time at the two clubs.
In 2009, at 19 years old, he debuted for the Cronulla Sharks and went on to play 12 matches that season. But following scans on a cracked vertebrae, Jon was diagnosed with HodgkinLymphoma.
He was a determined man, and he made his way back into the Cronulla first-grade squad to play a dozen more NRL matches.
Growing up as a Parramatta junior, Johnny made his way 'home' to the Eels to join his brother in the Parramatta squad for the 2012 season, but was unable to play alongside Tim when his health would not permit it.
In 2013, at the first Johnny Mannah Cup, the Eels were able to grind out a 13-6 victory and see their co-captain, Tim Mannah, lift the cup in front of a home crowd in Parramatta.
Tonight, we #celebratejohnny again at Pirtek Stadium in Parramatta with the second annual Johnny Mannah Cup.
Every Member and fan at the ground is welcome to give a gold coin donation to our bucket collectors at the ground, and bid on 17 match-worn and signed Eels jerseys and full kits from Eels co-captain Tim Mannah and Sharks captain Paul Gallen after the match. Auction items will be available on auctions.parraeels.com.au after full time and all proceeds will go to the Mannah Foundation.
NRL kicks off at 7pm, and tickets are available through Ticketmaster.