Hundreds pay their respects to young rugby player Halley Appleby in Nambour today. Picture: John McCutcheon
Hundreds pay their respects to young rugby player Halley Appleby in Nambour today. Picture: John McCutcheon

Hundreds in farewell to Halley

THE rugby community has come together as one today to farewell the young Sunshine Coast player who died after being injured in a 'one in a billion' tackle tragedy last weekend.

Hundreds of Halley Appleby's mates and friends gathered to farewell the former Noosa Dolphins player at a service to celebrate the 21-year-old's life at Nambour.

Halley suffered severe brain damage during a Brisbane match last Saturday.

The apprentice carpenter was playing for the University of Queensland when he was injured in a tackle.

His life support was turned off on Monday and his organs were donated, helping five people.

UQ Rugby vice president Mick Zaicek, who attended today's service at Nambour, said the past few days had been a terrible time for the club.

He said Mr Appleby was a dedicated player, always turning up to training while holding down a job as a carpenter.

"He never complained, he was a tough hooker," Mr Zaicek said.

"We're all traumatised and in mourning.

"In a strange way, it will have a galvanising effect on the club, we're just trying to work through it day by day, step by step."

The service was followed by a wake for team mates at the Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club.

One of Halley’s former team mates with the Dolphins, Cooper Lau, called it a beautiful service.

“We said our goodbyes to a good bloke today,” he said.

“It was a sad moment for us all. We all love him.”

Club vice president Kieran Kearney spoke to media on behalf of the club.

“We’re all struggling,” he said.

“Everyone is devastated, we’re all feeling for the family, they’re in our thoughts and our prayers.”

“Let’s hope they can get through this.”



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