GYMPIE'S rugby league fraternity is mourning the loss of one of its formative players - Cyril Douglas (Doug) Maher.
Doug, known to many as Mutton, was born in Cooran in 1934 at his family's homestead.
He was the fourth child to Mick and Fanny Maher and had three brothers and four sisters, John, Bill, Merv, Irene, Bev, Jeanette and Carroll.
Doug left school at Pomona to become a butcher.
He started his football career playing for Cooran with his brothers before moving to Gympie and signing up with now defunct club, Wanderers.
Doug spent 12 years with the Wanderers and captained the A-grade side for five years, representing Gympie numerous times.
The footy player was respected for his class on field and his skill with the boot.
It was said Doug could smell victory each time he put on his boots.
Doug married Dolly Claridge and they had one child, Joanne.
When Doug left Gympie, he had two butcher shops at Brisbane's Everton Park and also worked for the Brisbane City Council before he retired.
He then moved to the Gold Coast and his last three years were at Fernvale, to be near Joanne and his three grandchildren, Michael, Jessie and Ali and two great-grandchildren, Ivy and Leo Douglas.
Joanne said former league team-mates, such as Ron Coleman, Bobby Coxon, Merv Rowlands and Jimmy Tierney, visited her father in the last two years of his life. Doug described the visits as being "better than winning the lottery".
Doug died on January 1 this year, aged 81, after a year-long battle with cancer.
He was buried with Dolly at the Southport Lawn Cemetery on the Gold Coast, following a funeral service at Fernvale.