Farewell to great mate
WHEN all hope seemed lost as they stood side-by-side on the rugby field Steve Collins would lean over and whisper into Stanley Lui's ear "mate, we need you to give a bit more".And even when he could barely breathe with exhaustion, desperate to get off the field, "Bubbles" as he was known as, would respond with the heart and courage his Barron Trinity Bulls teammates knew him for so well.
The club, including younger brother Errol, will form a guard of honour at the All Saints Anglican Church this morning to pay their final respects to Stanley, who died in a car accident on Boxing Day on the way home from visiting his two-year-old daughter Tayla in Townsville.
Mr Collins was asked by the family to speak on their behalf and said he had known the 31-year-old for around a decade, as a teammate, work colleague and, most importantly, as a friend.
"He was a very strong individual and a happy guy and a really good mate," he said.
"He was one of the strongest props I've ever played with.
"I'll always remember on a number of occasions, Stanley wasn't the best trainer at all ... but he had incredible heart."
Mr Collins said even when Stanley was exhausted, he'd pick himself up again, "get tough" and keep on going.
The pair had been making plans to go into business together with Mr Collins hoping to help Stanley keep a stable income to help support his young daughter and partner.
"He really made a commitment to try and turn his life around for her when she was born," he said.
The club have rallied behind the family, with donations pouring in from around the community and further afield.
President Scott Schaefer will speak on Barron Trinity's behalf at the funeral today and although only knowing him for a year, said he was a great character to have around the club.
"He was the kind of character every club needs. He was so enthusiastic and passionate about the club," he said. "He didn't play last year, but he was certainly there at every game, leading the cheers.
"A lot of the younger guys who were new to the club really appreciated how welcoming he was.
"And that's the kind of guy he was. He always had a smile and a laugh and he had a lot of time for everyone."
Damien Swain was coaching the A Grade team in 2007 when Stanley was part of the side which won the Cairns District Rugby Union grand final.
"You don't really meet many people like Bubs," he said.
"The way he was, just kind of chilled out. He would always have a smile and a laugh, no matter what you were talking about. He was just a great guy."
Family, friends, teammates and colleagues from Westco Motors will be part of what is expected to be a large contingent to farewell Stanley at Gordonvale church from 10am.
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Final respects: Barron Trinity Bulls' Stanley Lui will be remembered as a team player.