It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that over the weekend of 7th August, 2022, the Savige Pest Control Ipswich Jets, lost one of their own, Jet 568, The Kangaroo Catcher, Michael Purcell.
Michael’s career with the Jets started on the 5th March, 2016 where he made his debut for the club winning against Norths and scoring his first try. Michael would go on to play 73 games wearing the green and white, and scored an impressive 66 tries, 22 of which were in 19 games played in 2018, where he tied for leading try scorer in the formerly named Intrust Super Cup and was named in the top 5 players of the year.
Michael played with the Jets until 2020, where he got the offer of a lifetime, a preseason with NRL’s Melbourne Storm, playing a trial game for them before returning to play for Storm feeder club the Brisbane Tigers. Michael played 9 games for the Tigers before a serious knee injury, but he ended up playing 82 Queensland Cup games, scoring a remarkable 68 tries.
Ipswich Jet teammate and cousin of Michael, Wes Conlon, said:
“Purcy was a very close cousin of mine, my brother. His passing has left a deep sadness in not only the hearts of his family and friends, but the wider community are also really feeling this loss. He was always smiling, telling jokes, and making everyone laugh.
He was just one of those good-hearted fella’s you wanted to be around. Not only was he such a great guy, he was also one of the fastest, deadliest backyard off the cuff footballers I’ve ever seen & played alongside. He had natural gifted freakish talents that just couldn’t be matched or taught.
On behalf of the family, I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring messages and support through these difficult times”.
Chairman of the Ipswich Jets, Steven Johnson remarked that the Jets have been blessed to have some of the most exciting players ever to play to play in Queensland and no one was more exciting than the Kangaroo Catcher. He added that Michael shone just as brightly off the field as he did on it with his big personality, kind heart and a smile so bright we barely needed lights when he smiled playing on North Ipswich Reserve. Johnson said that the Jets heart is broken today but Michael will live on it and Michael will always be remembered and honoured as a great Jet.
Richard Hughes, CEO, added that “it is testament to the man and the way he used to excite our crowds, as to the impact this has had across not just our club, but the game and sport in general. He will always hold a very special place in every Jets heart and will always be remembered.”
Once a Jet, always a Jet.
Michael’s family have given permission for Michael’s name and image to be used, so that his life can be honoured and his legacy can continue to inspire young people to play the game he loved so much.