A BIG LOSS: Jim Stevens, pictured at an NRL camp in Warwick, will be remembered throughout the community.
A BIG LOSS: Jim Stevens, pictured at an NRL camp in Warwick, will be remembered throughout the community. Gerard Walsh

Tributes flow for a local legend

RUGBY LEAGUE: The footy and wider community is in mourning following the sudden passing of Jim Stevens last week.

He will be remembered as a man who loved his family and his rugby league.

The legacy of Stevens in Warwick rugby league will be felt for many years to come.

He played with the Warwick Cowboys, coached Collegians and the Indigenous Murri team just to name a few, as well as having an unmatched impact at schoolboy and developmental levels of the game.

Only last month was Stevens instrumental in the formation of a junior Western Mustangs academy in Warwick.

Craig Frattini worked alongside Stevens at the junior rugby league level.

"I've known Jim for eight or nine years. As well as knowing him through footy, he was one of my best mates," Frattini said.

"There wouldn't be a bloke around that would be as good a dad as Jim.

"Everything he did was always for his kids (Maddie, Tyson and Zac), and he would even put other people's kids before himself."

Frattini said Stevens was always willing to give his time to anyone.

"He was a genuine guy and was always straight down the line," he said,

"He called a spade a spade, and if he didn't agree on something, he was happy to voice his opinion.

"Jim was a loyal mate who would do anything for you."

Frattini said he would miss the friendship the pair shared.

"For me, I'll miss being able to have a good yarn, a few beers and a music session," he said.

"He always loved to pull out his guitar and have a sing.

"The rugby league community will be at a massive loss. I don't think there's anyone in the region with the knowledge and passion for developing not only kids, but coaches, like Jim."

Frattini said Stevens always went above and beyond because he loved the game so much.

"He would go to northern New South Wales, help out with indigenous teams and give up time for schoolboy football," he said,

"Schools and clubs in other areas would seek him out and ask to assist, even though there were officers in their area, to get Jim to help out."

Wattles president Glyn Rees has known Jim for almost two decades.

"The job he had as a development officer fitted him like a glove," Rees said.

"It was like heaven for Jim to work in a field that he loved. He was successful because of his attitude, and was very popular no matter where he went."

Glen Williamson was involved with Jim at the Collegians juniors in Warwick, and said the impact would be felt by the wider community.

"Jim was upfront and honest, and was highly involved in the local community," Williamson said.

"His children are a testimony to him.

"They are well mannered and courteous, and fine young children.

"Theses are very sad circumstances.

"Jim has left us too early, and he will be sorely missed."



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