- Matt and Trish Johns’ eldest child Jack was born in 1997
- Jack now plays for the Newcastle Knights, like his dad
- Matt became a media star after his footy career ended
NRL great turned TV star Matthew Johns has revealed his wife Trish told hospital staff to bar him from the building just before the birth of their son Jack in 1997.
The eldest of the couple’s two children came into the world in October of that year, just after his father had starred for the Newcastle Knights in their famous grand final win over Manly, which is fondly remembered by fans as one of the great deciders of all time.
Almost everyone in the city turned out for the wild celebrations after the victory, with the players enjoying themselves to the hilt – as evidenced by a clearly under the weather Johns describing the win as ‘better than Lego’ in a famous interview with Sunrise’s Natalie Barr.
That golden TV moment came the day after the Knights won their first premiership, but Matt’s party lasted far longer.
Matthew Johns’ wife Trish (pictured together) told hospital staff not to let him into the building just before the birth of their first child, son Jack
The Knights footy legend (pictured with Jack) was staying overnight in a bed next to his wife in the Newcastle hospital at the time
Now the 52-year-old has explained how he got his wife so far offside just before one of the biggest events of their lives.
‘About four days after the grand final, Trish went into hospital. We were still sort of partying so the hospital wasn’t full, so the ladies set me up in a hospital bed next to Trish in the ward,’ he told the Bloke In A Bar podcast.
‘So literally I would go out drinking all day and half the night, and then go back into the hospital.
‘I’d hit the PA system and I could hear Trish sometimes going, “Don’t let him in! Don’t let him in!”
‘And they [the staff] would go, “Oh, it’s OK.”
‘Mate, I was ordering pizzas from there.
At the time, Johns had been ‘drinking all day and half the night’ during the wild party after Newcastle won their first premiership in 1997
The entire city went berserk (pictured) when Johns and his brother Andrew led the team to the groundbreaking victory over hated rivals Manly
‘And then when Jack was born – about the second or third day, because she had about a week in there, Trish – the doctor came in and said everything’s great, basically go and enjoy your lives.
‘And I said, “You know, let’s just stay one more night.” And we did!’
Johns also told podcast host and ex-NRL star Denan Kemp that Knights fans were so desperate to celebrate with their heroes that they jumped out of trees onto the top of the team bus and tried to kick their way into the vehicle, which had to be written off as a result.
Johns (pictured with Jack, who is now playing for Newcastle) has been in the headlines this year over his long-running feud with brother Andrew
The former Knights, NSW and Kangaroos five-eighth has been in the headlines this year due to a long-running feud with his brother and Knights teammate, footy Immortal Andrew.
Earlier this year, a huge row erupted between the brothers on SEN radio after former New South Wales star Matty praised Queensland coach Billy Slater.
Andrew, a die-hard Blue who is closely connected with the team’s coach Brad Fittler, took umbrage with his brother’s public praise of the Maroons, leading to an explosive argument.
Matthew has since revealed that he has not spoken with his brother since the row first erupted in May, before casting doubt on whether they will patch things up before the end of the year.
‘Plans to catch have been put on hold. We might see him at Christmas … might,’ he said.