Ex-cricket captain 'not out' when it comes to fundraiser
IT WAS an emotional reunion for Steve and Lynette Waugh and Casino's Farrell family, and their friends, as the Captain's Ride passed through the Beef Capital on its way from Sydney to Byron.
The ride's role, in conjunction with the Steve Waugh Foundation, is to raise awareness of rare diseases.
The Farrell brothers
To a large extent late brothers Bradley and Thomas Farrell were the foundation's poster boys.
"They possessed a special spirit that could lift an entire room," recalled the former Australian cricketer.
Steve's wife Lynette shed real tears in memory of the boys, who she said 'left little footprints' on her heart.
"They were always reaching out to touch each other," she recalled.
"..And torment each other," noted family friend Sharon Yates, with a wry smile.
The pair who had the incredibly rare ARTS syndrome were born deaf and their family watched the brothers' health deteriorate over the years until they passed away within two days of each other last June.
But throughout their time on earth the brothers maintained a special bond.
"They were infectious," recalled Sharon. They even got under the skin of the nursing staff. They made us appreciate life."
Lynette recalled with fondness the brothers' 'gentleness' and the fact that they always had a smile for a visitor.
The participants in The Captain's Ride spent only a short time at Casino, stopping at the showgrounds for a quick bite to eat and to celebrate the lives of Bradley and Thomas by releasing a few coloured balloons.
Steve said the trip so far had been a highlight of his career, and while interested in the great Test result against New Zealand at the moment he was more than content to focus on this current project.
Rolling downhill from Armidale to Grafton the back way proved to be the most exhilarating moment on the adventure.
"We were riding down hill in pouring rain and poor visibility," he recalled. It really got the adrenaline up. It was like playing against the Windies in the mid-80s when we faced four fast bowlers. You had to concentrate. You had to be spot-on or you were going to get injured."