Glenn Stewart can expect a welcome worthy of a Manly legend when he plays in an opposition jersey for the first time at Brookvale Oval on Friday, Daly Cherry-Evans says.
Stewart’s depart from Brookvale at the end of last season continues to be a sore point with the Sea Eagles’ faithful and the decision not to retain the two-time premiership winner was one of the contributing factors in the demise of coach Geoff Toovey.
Cherry-Evans was rumoured to have fallen out with Stewart in his time at Brookvale before his move to South Sydney. But the premiership winning halfback knows as well as anyone the revered status with which the former Kangaroos back-rower is held in by Manly fans.
“I dare say he will get a round of applause as opposed to anyone booing him,” Cherry-Evans said.
“He has done a lot for this club over a long period of time and I’m sure he will get a very warm reception.”
Stewart got the better of his former teammates when the two sides met at ANZ Stadium in round 16.
Long-serving hooker Matt Ballin played alongside Stewart in the Sea Eagles’ 2008 and 2011 grand final wins and said it was still hard to believe sometimes he had left the club.
“We obviously played against him at ANZ (Stadium) and there was a few laughs out there,” Ballin said.
“He has been such a good player for the club and a good bloke around the place and the fans love him and no one wanted to see him go.
“It was a shame to see him go but I’m sure when he does come back he will be warmly received.
Manly winger Jorge Taufua said Stewart was still a player he looked up to.
“He’s done a lot for this club and I respect him very much and I know a lot of the boys here do,” he said.
“I’m pretty sure Choccy’s (Anthony Watmough) out for the season so we probably won’t see him come back to Brookie but they’re both legends of this club so it will be good to see on Friday.”