Noble family surrounded by "sea of love" in wake of son's tragic accident

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Glen Noble, father of spinal injury sufferer Alex, says the family has been surrounded by a “sea of love” in the months since their middle son’s tragic accident.

Alex Noble, a 16-year-old student at St Ignatius’ College Riverview, has been in hospital since an October 21 training accident left him with a serious spinal injury.

Since then, the Noble family has been flooded with support from all walks of sporting life and even celebrities like Hugh Jackman, who sent Alex a video message on social media.

Alex’s recovery has been characterised by the phrase “I fight, you fight” which the teen uttered to his brother Zac in hospital when he was struggling to find focus for his HSC exams.

With Alex’s recovery and aid in the future set to be extremely costly, the Nobles have been doing everything they can to raise funds and the sporting community has rallied around them.

Speaking at the I Fight, You Fight lunch in Sydney’s west on Thursday, Glen said he was still taken aback by the support they’d received.

That lunch, for roughly 100 people, sold out in less than 12 hours and plenty of expensive items were donated

Among the guests were former Blues coach Laurie Daley and Souths NRL player George Rose, Classic Wallaby Bill YOung, former Aussie Sevens captain Ed Jenkins and current Wallaby Reece Hodge.

“I’m just delighted, in fact overwhelmed is the word I’d probably use,” Glen said.

“We arranged this fundraiser today and we got sold out in like 12 hours and people keep coming to buy tickets and they can’t.

“That’s a sort of indication of the support Alex has had and it’s just been wonderful from friends, sporting community, Rugby Australia, everyone even strangers.

“It’s overwhelming and we’re just surrounded by a sea of love.”

The Nobles have set up an Instagram account with the handle @ifightyoufight, sharing Alex’s developments and the messages they have received but even Glen said he couldn’t have imagined the high-profile voices that have sent videos in.

“It really helps Alex,” he said.

“You show him one of those videos and his face lights up and it’s pretty cool and I think all his friends recognise that as well.

“It’s been an important part of his mental recovery, I think.”

Hodge was one of those contacted by Alex’s friends to send an Instagram post their way and the 23-year-old went to visit him in hospital in recent weeks as well.

“He’s an amazing kid,” he said.

“Anyone going through that is going to be struggling big time but he’s always got a smile on his face and you can see through all the videos that his dad shares on the “I fight, you fight” page that he’s always striving for something else he can do.

“I think whether you play the game, support or are involved in some capacity, everyone supports each other.

“I think this is a real testament and hopefully it can raise some awareness and much needed funds for Alex going forward but also a bit of awareness for the unfortunate fact that injuries happen in rugby and it’s a part of life.

“Whatever we can do to support a cause like this is great.”

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Update 26 Nov 2018: With good physio session today, Alex was in high spirits this evening. Why wouldn’t you be with 15 (no not a typo!) boys and girls hanging out on the outside basketball court, with some UEBoom music cranking. Topped off by a lovely visit from Wallaby / Melbourne Rebel’s @reecehodge . Wonderful man, Uber cool and generous with his time with the boys.. Glen #ifightyoufight #football #australianfootball #reecehodge #wallabies #wallabiesrugby #under16s #mates #rugbyunion #rugby #footballinjury #hope #brother #hesmybrother #prayingforamiracle #prayersforalex #marymckillop #sayalittleprayer #spinalcordinjury #matesareeverything #family

A post shared by Alex Noble (@ifightyoufight) on

A number of Australia’s Sevens players are Riverview alumni, including ex-skipper Jenkins, and he said it was great to see the support the Nobles were receiving.

“I was up there with Henry Hutchison and Wellsy the other week and he probably had about 30 of his close mates up there visiting him.

“I think he’s getting that type of support every single day.

“It’s great to see the whole rugby community rallying behind Alex and his family at the same time.”

Click here if you would like to donate to the Noble family to help aid Alex's recovery.