Twenty-one-year-old Jayden Campbell made his debut for the Gold Coast Titans last weekend, sporting the number one jersey once worn by his father.
Club history was made when the young fullback took the field for Gold Coast, making the Campbells the first father-son duo to play for the Titans.
On Saturday night the Titans went head to head with the Storm, losing 20-14, but the rookie pulled off a try-saving tackle on Melbourne’s Nicho Hynes in the final stages of the game despite his nerves.
“(My nerves) were ridiculous, I think I spewed about four or five times before the game,” Campbell said.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is play rugby league, and to represent the Titans, the same as my old man, it’s awesome.”
Titans coach Justin Holbrook said Campbell displayed the same type of footwork his father had as his trademark.
“I thought he was great. It’s not easy to play Melbourne Storm in your first game but he was terrific — a great young player,” Holbrook said.
“He’s a tough kid and when he’s carrying the ball back everyone wants to smash him — and there’s not much of him — but he doesn’t let it happen.”
Preston Campbell played 267 NRL games, scoring 84 tries throughout an incredible 14-year career.
After retiring in 2011, he started focusing on community work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, creating the Preston Campbell Foundation and serving as an ambassador for Deadly Choices.
Preston said he’s seen the difference that rugby league can make in people’s lives and that it’s a vehicle for change.
“I believe in supporting our grassroots and get inspired by working with others who contribute so much towards our game. I want to give back to the game which has given me so much,” he said.
Campbell is on the reserves list for the upcoming match against the Roosters but could be called up should AJ Brimson fail to come through after Wednesday’s Origin clash.
By Teisha Cloos