Manu Vatuvei has shared many tearful farewells in the past few days but there's one goodbye that has proved harder than the rest.

Informing teammates, coaches and the rest of the Warriors football and office staff of his decision to leave was difficult enough, but he struggled to break the news to another of the club's most loyal servants.

Susan Turner worked at the club's Penrose offices since their inaugural 1995 season and has been a surrogate mother to "The Beast" since he first joined the Warriors as a shy 16-year-old in 2002.

"It was really hard to go and see Susan," Vatuvei explained. "She came up to me and asked 'why didn't you tell me?' I said, 'because you're the hardest person to tell so I couldn't come up and say it'.


Turner, who works in the club's corporate ticketing and accounts department, says her close bond with Vatuvei is built on mutual care and respect and their unique shared sense of humour.

"He understands me and I understand him and maybe it's just the times that we have spent together over the years," said Turner.

"I've got boys, too, the same age almost, and we just have a good relationship.

"He's just always been so caring. When you see him with his family, his dad, he's a big emotional teddy bear.

"He's so great with the community side of things as well. People just warm to him. He walks into a room and just lights it up."

An emotion filled week will reach its crescendo before kickoff in tonight's NRL clash against Penrith, with the Warriors renaming their Mt Smart home ground "Manu Vatuvei Stadium" to mark the occasion.

Turner knows the night will be full of mixed feelings, as Vatuvei closes the book on his 14-year playing career at the Warriors. "I expect a few tears from a few people but we'll get through it."