“As a tackler, I’m no good,” Nathan Hindmarsh once said.
That must mean that Hindy laid over 12,000 lousy tackles in his stellar career. Several hundred opponents, still licking their wounds after being crunched, would all be saying, “I don’t think so!”
Hindy brought down the equivalent of every man who ever played first grade football in Australia and then some!
He reached the pinnacle in Round 23 of the 2007 NRL season with 75 tackles against the Storm – they were like bumper cars, running into a Hindmarsh cracker of a tackle at every turn.
He made his first NRL tackle on a long-forgotten Adelaide Rams player in the western NSW country town of Parkes in 1998 and since then he cut down almost everything that moved in a career of extraordinary dedication. In his prime, Hindy combined his defensive workload with a powerful running game and earned recognition as Dally M second-rower of the year five times.
Brian Smith offered this description: “He is a machine. He hasn’t got an ideal body. He’s got a sway back and fat gut and funny bum. But physiologically he’s got something inside him and he keeps going and going.”
And that was the thing about him: never give up, never say die. Many were the times that he would chase 30, 40 or 50 metres to run down an opponent when everyone else had given up. And when he caught him – bang!
Hindy has a wealth of stories about his long career at the Eels. A bit like the way he played, he’ll tell it straight – no mucking around – but always with a self-deprecating sense of humour. Nathan enjoys meeting fans and sharing a drink. He’s a good bloke!
Just imagine how good a footballer he would have been, if he’d been able to tackle!