Vale Tory Brunning

Discussion in 'General Rugby League' started by rhugh89, May 14, 2018.

  1. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus Staff Member Admin

    Aug 12, 2012
    Always heartbreaking to hear these stories

    Condolences go out to his Team-mates, Friends and Family

    Sister of dead rugby league player pays emotional tribute to the ‘star of this family’

    SAM McBEATH, The Daily Telegraph
    May 13, 2018 9:23pm

    A YOUNG footballer who collapsed and died during his rugby league game in Illawarra over the weekend has been called the “star of his family” by his heartbroken big sister.

    Tory Brunning, 22, was playing for his beloved Dapto Canaries rugby league team at the Dapto Showground on Saturday when he fell ill and was retired from the reserve grade matchup against the Wests Devils.

    The promising young football prospect was expected to play back to back games on the day, having been scheduled to play up for the first grade team in their 3pm matchup, but was also withdrawn from that line-up due to his depleting health.

    The New Zealand native, who turned 22 this week, was treated by the opposing team’s doctor once the first grade game had ended, but was later found collapsed in the dressing sheds.

    Paramedics responded to the football field at about 5pm to treat the unconscious man, but despite their best efforts he was unable to be revived and died at the scene.

    The cause of death is not yet known and a report will be prepared for the Coroner.

    “My baby brother was a star in this family — he was doing so well,” his proud big sister Kourtney Waitarehu told The Daily Telegraph. “A piece of our heart has been taken from us all and may he rest in Our Lord’s arms.”

    Mr Brunning was raised by his father Mark to play rugby league from an early age, with the Waitara native moving to Sydney at the tender age of 16 to pursue his football career at Illawarra Sports High School — where he was selected to play in the prestigious Australian Combined High Schools team.

    “He went from regional football to national New Zealand football and just kept rising — he just had a passion for rugby league,” Ms Waitarehu said.

    Mr Brunning’s rugby league pedigree is undisputed with his father and uncles all playing high level representative football in New Zealand.

    Heartfelt tributes have also flowed from the Illawarra community with local football enthusiasts, friends and fans describing Tory as well respected, quiet-natured and “a lovely young man” who “never took a backwards step on the field.”

    Upon leaving school the football star became an enthusiastic electrician and began his flourishing career with the Dapto Canaries which he classified as a brotherhood.

    Mr Brunning was also a well-liked employee at the popular “Figgy Bowlo” bowling club.

    Devastated Figgy Bowlo employees declined to comment on the loss of their beloved staff member so soon after his sudden and unexpected passing.

    Country Rugby League released a statement on Sunday afternoon saying measures had been put in place to provide counselling and support for the family and friends of Mr Brunning, along with those associated with the Dapto and Western Suburbs clubs.

    Ms Waitarehu said her baby brother was a much loved and cherished member of their family and the community, and that the loss had left her and her family heartbroken.

    “A star in our eyes and taken in a blink,” Ms Waitarehu said. “How beautiful God made you — a piece of my heart.”

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