Ballymore Beat: Remembering Halley Appleby

Fri, Apr 19, 2024, 4:06 AM
Jim Tucker
by Jim Tucker

The power of who Halley Appleby was and how he lived his life is still a torch that burns strongly at the University of Queensland Rugby Club.

There are fewer and fewer players and figures at the club each year who knew Appleby personally before the tragic accident of 2011.

The freak accident that claimed his life in a tackle at Yoku Road in a first grade game against GPS is how his life ended not how he lived it.

The popular Appleby was just 21 and with the fun-loving larrikin streak that hookers are often renowned for.

It is all the young carpenter crammed into his life that is remembered.

When UQ play GPS at Yoku Road on Saturday for the Halley Appleby Memorial Trophy, the Uni players will carry a little of Halley onto the field for this StoreLocal Hospital Cup match.

If you are wondering what the words are on the traditional blue and maroon rubber wristbands being worn by the players, it is Halley’s own motto.

“Live Every Day As If It Were Your Last” are poignant words.

Thirteen years after a day that left emotions raw across the rugby community, UQ Rugby Club gives full respect to honouring their own.

Training finished a little early on Tuesday night at UQ for all grades.

It allowed Heather Arthy, a club Life Member, to give some context to what happened in 2011. She was on the field as a sports trainer at Appleby’s side.

“Heather spoke to the whole club. Everyone sat or stood in front of the clubhouse and listened,” coach Elton Berrange said.

“We have new Colts and players who never knew Halley but they listened to Heather capture what sort of man he was, his fun-loving ways, his legacy.”

UQ Rugby Club General Manager Jason Greenhalgh added more.

“I know old boys of the club who wear the wristband every day of their lives,” Greenhalgh said.

“I know first grade will wear them on Saturday.

“Heather spoke really well. That wristband message of making every moment count in life is a powerful one because you can take nothing for granted.”

Centre Ethan McFarlane is the current recipient of the $3000 Halley Appleby Bursary to help his career as an electrician because Appleby was a tradie.

Appleby’s mother Sue will be at Yoku Road to present the trophy at the end of the game.

Different players will absorb the message differently. Being reminded is what counts.

For this game, experienced forward Cam Flavell, back from England, is ready for his 50th game, Hamish Butcher will have his first start at hooker and halfback Liam Prendergast has been rewarded with the No.9 jersey.

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