District mourns footballer, boxer ... Terry Roberts
By STEVE SPINKS
RUGBY league and the communities of Urbenville, Muli Muli, Kyogle and Woodenbong have suffered a big loss with the sudden death of Terry Roberts.
Mr Roberts died on February 10 when he suffered a brain haemorrhage after a short illness. He was 68-years-old.
Born in the Mulli Mulli area, Mr Roberts had a long association with rugby league as a player and then as a coach.
According to longtime friend John Smith, he was a very keen footballer.
"He was a hooker and he was a thick, short and nuggety fellow," Mr Smith said.
"He was very strong and athletic ... he was pretty fit right up until he died."
Mr Roberts was a player in the Mulli Mulli All Blacks side that played a curtain-raiser in Brisbane to the England versus Queensland match in the early 1960s.
Mulli Mulli Full Gospel Church pastor Francis Bundock, who was a member of the side, remembered that Mr Roberts could also play lock.
Mr Roberts was also instrumental in guiding youngsters around the area into the game he loved.
"He coached a lot," Mr Smith recalled.
"He was always training kids down there and getting them all motivated.
"He also kept the young ones who had gone off the tracks a bit on the straight and narrow.
"He was a pretty good boxer so he didn't get too much cheek."
Boxing was Mr Roberts' second sport and Mr Smith remembers watching his friend in the ring many times.
"He boxed quite often at the rodeos in the old boxing troupe tents," he said.
But it's not just sport that will miss the tireless Mr Roberts.
"He was a great worker for the area," Mr Smith said.
"He was always out keeping Mulli Mulli clean and tidy ... taking rubbish away, things like that. He loved the place.
"The fellow never drank or smoked all his life and I never heard him swear."
Pastor Bundock said that Mr Roberts would help anyone in need.
"If you broke down or people were lost, Terry would always stop," he said.
"If you needed a new tyre or something for your car, everyone used to say 'go and ask if Terry has got a spare'."
Mr Roberts worked as a truck driver, mostly with Wilkinson's at Tabulam, but he had been retired for a few years.
He is survived by his wife Effi, mother Charlotte Page, and his children and children-in-law Raymond, Lionel (dec), Richard, Thomas and Julie, Annette and John, Terrence and Christine, Janelle and Daryl, Effi and Rodney, Eric, Famey, Cindy and Joshua.
Mr Roberts' funeral will be held today in the Mulli Mulli Full Gospel Church, Woodenbong at 1.30pm.
Family and friends are invited to attend a light supper at the church after the service.