Where are they now: Robbie Kearns
Every sporting club has their living legend, ours is Robbie Kearns.
He walked through the door on Day 1 and from then has made a daily impact at Melbourne Storm.
Kearns enjoyed a decorated career spanning 281 NRL games, 169 of those for Melbourne across eight seasons. He also captained the Club from 2000-2002 and represented both Australia (23 games) and NSW (8).
But through it all he remains one of the most approachable people on the planet.
Those that have met ‘Kearnsy’ would know that a conversation with the great man will instantly makes your day better.
He now works as the Business Development Manager at and this season will see him reach a 20-year affiliation with Storm.
“I love the Club, love the people, I feel like I would be missing a limb if I was not here,” Kearns said.
“I cannot see myself not being part of Melbourne Storm in some way, shape or form.”
After retiring in 2005, he had one foot in Storm’s commercial department and one in football as a front row specialist coach.
That was until new ownership took over in 2013 and he had to choose one or the other.
“While I liked coaching I didn’t live and breath it so I thought there was not going to be a big future in it for me,” Kearns said.
“I jumped into the commercial team and have been in this role pretty much ever since.”
A plumber by trade he admits the suit and tie caper is well and truly out of his comfort zone. You wouldn’t know it though, everybody loves Kearnsy and he loves them right back.
So much has happened since he first came to Melbourne as a star prop back in 1998.
Back then did he think he would be making the city his long term home?
“No, definitely not,” Kearns said.
“I had all intentions when I finished up in 2005 to go back to Sydney. I loved Melbourne but home is where your family is and where all my family is in Sydney.
“However the CEO at the time gave me a tap on the shoulder and asked me what I was doing next year and I said I would be going home.
“They actually said ‘we’d love you to stay around the Club, you’re a former captain, have a great relationship with the players and sponsors and we’d love to have you join as a Club ambassador.”
He signed an initial three-year contract and the rest is history.
Melbourne is now home for Kearns, he has three teenage children with his wife and childhood sweetheart Jackie and also runs a cleaning business with Danny Williams called TJS Services.
As well as his day-to-day responsibilities, Kearns has developed a real passion in the Melbourne Old Boys or ‘MOB’ as they call themselves.
The group exists for the sole purpose making sure former Storm players never lose their connection with the Club.
“We are now up to around 182 players who have all played a part in making the Club great,” Kearns said.
“Having an institution like the Melbourne Old Boys really gives these guys something to look forward to, they really embrace the Club. I love the fact that it gives us a belonging.”
That is one of the big reasons why once a year the Club hosts the Melbourne Old Boys weekend, giving all past players a chance to get together to watch a Storm game, swap stories and reminisce about the good old days.
“We’ve had players come down here in all sorts and some players have said that the Old Boys Weekend got them back on track,” Kearns said.
“It is really hard to explain but we’ve got this bond. I might not talk to guys for a year but as soon as they get to the Club it is like 20 years has gone by and nothing has changed.
“It is the Melbourne Storm bond, it is the purple jersey that brings us all together and it is amazing to be part of that.”