DARIUS Boyd has suffered a tragic loss just days out from Brisbane’s preliminary final showdown with Melbourne after his wife Kayla revealed that his beloved grandmother had passed away.
The Broncos skipper was missing from training on Monday for a personal matter.
Kayla shared a dedication to Boyd’s grandmother Delphine, who helped raise him, on Instagram.
“Rest in Peace Nana Boyd”, she wrote alongside a photo of Boyd with his grandmother and his one-year-old daughter, Willow.
Delphine had been unwell in recent years, as she battled dementia, and will no doubt be greatly missed by the Queensland and Australia star.
As Boyd revealed earlier this year, Delphine was a great support to him growing up.
She and her late husband Herbie adopted his mother, Rochelle, when she was just a baby.
But when Rochelle was institutionalised with mental health issues when Boyd was 15, he went to live with Delphine on the Gold Coast and has remained close over the years, previously calling her his “No. 1 support”.
Delphine even had a room in her house that was dedicated to Boyd, filled with his playing jerseys and trophies.
She was also the only family member of Boyd’s who attended his wedding to Kayla in Mission Beach in 2012.
Boyd used to call Delphine before every State of Origin game he played and before Game One of this year’s series, he spoke about how she rode the highs and lows with him as he chased his NRL dreams.
“Delphine has been a big influence in my life. I don’t know what I would have done without her,” he said before Origin I.
“My grandma reckons I came home when I was eight and I said I wanted to be a professional footballer player.
“I’ve maximised my talents, I’ve probably overachieved. I was a handy junior but never a standout. I know grandma is proud of what I’ve achieved.”
He also revealed how he had started to care for her after she went into a home to help with her dementia.
After years of her being his biggest support, he then became hers.
“I had a few family members in my early years, but she (Delphine) was always there for me,” he said in May.
“My mum went into hospital with major depression and left when I was 15. I got to the point where I felt she was leaving and I didn’t want her to be a part of my life and I cut her off.
“It made me grow up and fend for myself quickly. I think grandma liked me being around in a way, she liked taking care of me.
“We take Willow (his daughter) down to visit (at the nursing home) and she likes holding her and seeing her.”
The Broncos declined to comment on the matter.