Gary Lo dramatically returns to PNG from Newcastle

Papua New Guinea international Gary Lo has left England, and seems to have abandoned his deal to play at Newcastle Thunder.

The player is now back in PNG, and has offered an apology to his fellow countrymen and PNG Hunters fans as to the manner of his departure from his home country.

“I apologise to the Hunters management, the players, and the sports ministers and also to the people of this country. It’s my fault. I made the wrong decision to go,” Lo told reporters in PNG.

“I returned to PNG because I felt uneasy after leaving. I just couldn’t cope and struggled at training to keep up with the boys.”

Lo is still under contract to Thunder, which may well make it difficult for him to play for another club anywhere in the world for the foreseeable future.

A number of other details about his departure have been revealed by a source close to the PNG contingent at Newcastle.

Lo apparently made a night-time flit from the home he was sharing in the North East with three other PNG players: Mark Mexico, Charlie Wabo and Jason Tali.

Mexico was woken at 3.30am on Tuesday January 20 in the house by noise, and came out of his bedroom to see Lo leaving the house with his bags packed.

Mexico made the assumption that Lo was moving out to another home in England.

Lo had other ideas, it seems, however. He used the car loaned to the PNG players by the club to drive to Manchester Airport, from where it is believed he flew home.

Thunder coach Stanley Gene and the club hierarchy were completely ignorant of this situation, however, and contacted police to report a missing person, along with a stolen car, the following day.

Later on Wednesday, Greater Manchester Police contacted Gene to inform him that the car had been found at Manchester Airport, with its headlights still on, and parked in a restricted parking bay.

PNG Sports Minister Justine Tkatchenko is believed to have faciliated Lo’s return to PNG, and met him at the airport back in the Pacific.

“It’s an experience we don’t want to happen ever again. Gary has a huge future ahead of him and personally, I think he is an asset for the Hunters,” said Mr Tkatchenko.

“But is now up to the Hunters management to decide on whether Gary still has a future with the Hunters.”

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