NRL: Banned match-fixer found dead

NRL forward Ryan Tandy reported to have died from overdose.

Police are not treating Ryan Tandy's death as suspicious. Photo / Getty Images
Police are not treating Ryan Tandy's death as suspicious. Photo / Getty Images

Former National Rugby League forward Ryan Tandy was found dead yesterday from a suspected drug overdose.

The 32-year-old died at his parents' home in Saratoga on the New South Wales Central Coast.

Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Tandy played 36 NRL matches for five clubs from 2003.

A late bloomer in rugby league, his story had the makings of a football fairytale.
Instead it became a tragedy.

Two years after scaling the heights of an NRL premiership, Tandy was banned for life in October 2011 by the NRL when found guilty of match fixing.

Investigations were launched following a $30,000 betting plunge on the Bulldogs' August 2010 NRL clash with North Queensland.

Tandy had relocated to Canterbury mid-season after savouring the 2009 title with Melbourne that was later annulled due to an elaborate salary cap rort.

But in Sydney, the problem gambler's life began to spiral out of control.

He was alleged to have placed bets on North Queensland scoring the first points against his team with a penalty goal in the now-infamous 2010 clash. He gave away a penalty in front of the posts early in the game, but the Cowboys ignored the chance at goal and scored a try instead.

Tandy pleaded not guilty to match fixing but was convicted, fined $4000 and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

Trouble followed him in life after football.

He was accused of being the "hired muscle" in the kidnapping of a man in January on the New South Wales Central Coast over a drug debt.

Tandy had been due in court next month.

He was living at the Saratoga home as part of his bail conditions.

Yesterday, just like in their playing days, former teammates could see only the good in Tandy.

Bryan Fletcher said a recent meeting with Tandy had convinced him his former South Sydney teammate was ready to turn his life around.

Tandy was excited about a new business venture selling compression garments with former Melbourne halfback Matt Orford.

And he was believed to be about to release a book he had written about his troubled life.

"He had his problems punting ... but I wouldn't have seen this coming," Fletcher told Fox Sports.

He said Tandy gave the impression he was keen to launch a league comeback and add to the 36 NRL games he played.

"He said if I had any leads with footy clubs," Fletcher said.

Former Storm teammate Steve Turner added: "He was the life of the party amongst the playing group. He loved a practical joke.

"He was a champion bloke, to be honest."

- AAP

- Daily Telegraph

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