The daughter of the late rugby league great Steve Folkes has delivered an emotional plea to help players suffering from brain degeneration, addressing day three of a Senate inquiry into concussions and repeated head trauma in contact sports.

Four of the nation’s sporting codes — the National Rugby League, Rugby Australia, Boxing Australia and Football Australia — fronted the hearing in Canberra on Wednesday and acknowledged the link between head trauma and serious neurodegenerative disease.

The stand-out submission was from Hayley Shaw, Folkes’s daughter, who detailed the difficulties the former premiership-winning player and coach endured in the final years before his death due to heart disease in 2018.

Folkes later became the first NRL player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that is linked to repeated blows to the head.

As reported by The Guardian, Ms Shaw said the first symptoms she noticed of his illness was loss of memory, forcing him to introduce his family to people they’d met repeatedly.

She added that he required a calendar of everything he had to do in his life because he knew he would forget things.

Ms Shaw praised the support the Folkes family received from the Australian Sports Brain Bank, but she said it there was little help from other parties after the CTE diagnosis was established.

The Folkes family said they never wanted compensation or to harm the game, but that “they just want [former players who are struggling] to feel supported”.

Folkes played 245 games for Canterbury during the 1980s and 90s, winning four premierships as part of the club’s famed ‘Dogs of War’ forward pack.

He also represented New South Wales in State of Origin nine times and earned selection for Australia on five occasions.

Folkes later coached Canterbury from 1998 to 2008 and led the club to another grand final victory in 2004, which remains the Bulldogs’ most recent premiership.

The inquiry will continue, though it remains unclear when the AFL will address the Senate.