How selfless footy coach dropped everything to donate his kidney to his sick ...

Rugby league star coach Ivan Cleary secretly and selflessly underwent risky surgery to have his kidney removed in order to save his 49-year-old brother's life.

Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary went under the knife eight months ago at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital and donated his kidney to his sick brother, Ash.

'There was never a question of if I would do it or not,' Ivan told The Sunday Telegraph.

The radical surgery, which carried a one-in-3000 chance of death, left him sidelined during this year's crucial preseason training.  

Ivan Cleary (pictured, left) was happy to see his son, NSW Blues star Nathan (pictured, right) play in the State of Origin game in Sydney 

Ivan Cleary (pictured, left) was happy to see his son, NSW Blues star Nathan (pictured, right) play in the State of Origin game in Sydney 

On October 13 last year, Ivan was wheeled into Royal North Shore Hospital to have the surgery that would save his brother's life

On October 13 last year, Ivan was wheeled into Royal North Shore Hospital to have the surgery that would save his brother's life

Ivan is the father Penrith Panthers star halfback Nathan Cleary, who helped lead the NSW Blues to a historic Origin series win this year.

His brother's need for a kidney replacement began in 2013 when it was revealed he was suffering with a debilitating kidney disease.

The diagnosis was grim but manageable, until his condition rapidly deteriorated last year. 

His kidney function fell below 10 per cent, and doctors advised he would need an immediate transplant or face dialysis three times a week. 

Cleary, his older brother Stuart,

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