Sat, Apr 07, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Russell Crowe hands out 1,000 free tickets to league fans

AP , SYDNEY

Actor Russell Crowe played the Easter Bunny around his home in Sydney this week, distributing about 1,000 free tickets to a game involving his rugby league team, the appropriately named South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Crowe's team is one of the oldest in the National Rugby League, but had fallen on hard times before Crowe and millionaire businessman Peter Holmes a Court took over running of the franchise in June last year.

The Rabbitohs, named after the street merchants who sold rabbits in South Sydney in the 1920s, have won all three matches to start the 2007 season.

That had Crowe, who won an Oscar for 2000's Gladiator and received Oscar nominations for his performances in The Insider and A Beautiful Mind, in a generous mood.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that Crowe gave waitresses from several restaurants and passers-by near his Wooloomooloo home tickets for a match against the Bulldogs at the Olympic stadium last night.

"It was a lovely gesture, he is a very generous man," waitress Emma Deamer told the newspaper, which also published photographs of Crowe posing with restaurant patrons.

Crowe also walked around the area with his son, Charlie, chatting with rugby league fans.

A spokesman for Crowe said that the actor had set out at the beginning of the week with 1,000 spare tickets. The Olympic stadium seats about 80,000 people and rarely sells out for regular-season matches.

"He was walking past blokes on building sites who called out, so he gave them a few, office receptionists, restaurant workers, that sort of thing," the spokesman said.

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