NRL star Payne Haas posts heartbreaking tribute after brother’s death
Heartbroken Brisbane Broncos star Payne Haas has posted a gut-wrenching tribute to social media after his older brother died.
Chace, who became a quadriplegic when he was involved in a car crash at just five-months-old, has died aged 22.
Front-rower Haas, who at 20 has already played State of Origin for NSW and represented Australia, took to Instagram today to express his grief.
“Confused atm but I know you won’t want me down just going to soldier on till my heart stops like you did!” he wrote.
“I love you forever my best friend, my role model but most importantly my big brother. Going to miss our banter and seeing your big smile whenever I come home to see you but I know you’re going to be watching over all of us every step of the way.
“Thanks for being there for me when no one else was, I’m going to carry your name with me everywhere I go I did this for you before this happened and I’m going to keep doing this for you.
“Staunchest person I’ve ever met I’m missing you already honestly, Ride or Die my Hitta I’ll see you soon. Say hello to grandma for me as well.”
Broncos teammates like Jamayne Isaako, Alex Glenn and Anthony Milford commented on the post to send their condolences, while NRL stars from other clubs also reached out.
Canberra’s Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Souths’ Cameron Murray and Cronulla’s Ronaldo Mulitalo were among many who posted messages of support.
Chace’s life, and that of the Haas family, was changed forever in 1999 when their car lost control while travelling between Canberra and Goulburn, crashing into a tree.
The second of 10 children, Chace suffered such severe whiplash he snapped his neck and would never walk.
Payne was born eight months after the accident and the pair have shared a special bond ever since.
“I wish it was me,” Payne told NRL.com in an interview last year.
“If I could go back and put myself in the situation he was in, I’d take that burden for him. I would love to see him live the life I am. I’d sit in that chair for the rest of my life to see him walk.
“Sometimes I cry in my room. I pray sometimes that things were never like that. I wish he was running around like us.
“Dad used to show us photos of how Chace was on life support. I’ve got life pretty easy. My brother knows real struggle.”
Before Payne’s Origin debut for the Blues in 2019, Chace spoke about how proud he was of his sibling.
“Words can’t describe how I feel about my little brother,” he said.
“When he said he was going to play for the Blues … It means everything to me. More than to him. I was very emotional to hear it. I’m blue to the bones. Always have been, always will be. Words can’t describe how I feel about my little brother.”
“When he runs on the field, he takes all of us with him. Every day I look up to my little bro. Every time I see him on TV he makes me really happy.
“He’s 100 per cent my hero. I will always protect him, no matter what.”
Originally published as NRL star heartbroken by brother’s death