COREY New, who died in the 2006 Broken Head crash.
COREY New, who died in the 2006 Broken Head crash.

The hardest week of the year

FOR Corey New's mum Ann, the week leading up the anniversary of his death is always the hardest of the year.

There are times when the grief hits out of the blue, sparked by tiny things, like seeing Corey's favourite colour pink or hearing the song "Forever Young”.

"You never get over it,” she said.

"You learn that you have no choice. You just have to live.”

The News remember their son as a tall, curly-haired, cheeky, fun-loving kid with "masses of friends”.

A natural leader who loved both playing and refereeing soccer, he was Captain-elect of Kadina High School in 2007.

The position remain unfilled that year in honour of Corey.

Today Corey is remembered in many ways, from the book written about his life, Some Are The Beat, to memorial garden at the Lismore Workers Football Club home ground.

FOREVER YOUNG: Mark and Ann New at Corey's memorial garden at the Lismore Workers Football Club grounds.
FOREVER YOUNG: Mark and Ann New at Corey's memorial garden at the Lismore Workers Football Club grounds. Hamish Broome

Every year the Corey New Cup is played between Goonellabah and Lismore Workers football clubs, and the Corey New Memorial Trophy is awarded for the best rookie referee on the Far North Coast.

For Mr New, his son is honoured in quiet moments of reflection. Sometimes in his job as a coach driver he will see the Southern Cross stars in the night sky and talk to Corey while shedding a quiet tear.

Other times he will have a beer with Corey while sitting with photos of him in the lounge.

He said said one of the toughest things he remembered doing in the day after his son's death was to ring family and friends to inform them of the tragedy.

"It was gut-wrenching,” he said.

The the family recorded 100 visitors to their home the next day.

The New's home became a drop-in centre for friends of the boys, where kids could come and share memories and grieve together.

"It affected so many people,” Mrs New said.

"It was awful for them too - they'd lost not one friend but four.”

Mrs New said whatever the legacy of the crash, "there is no positive for us in the loss of Corey”.

"But at the same time the memories are something no one can take away. He will always be this young man.

Mr New said the family was grateful Corey was memorialised in so many ways by so many people. "He'll never be forgotten,” he said.



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