TRIBUTE: Beloved Coast footy player an ‘integral part of us’
IT was only fitting that Chris Cameron was best on ground in his last game of rugby league football.
Coming up against the Casino Cougars in the 2019 Northern Rivers Rugby League semi-final, the Tweed Coast Raiders were gunning for back to back A-Grade premierships.
A premiership player the year before, it was Cameron who stood up under pressure.
The Bilambil Jets junior scored two tries and very nearly dragged his side over the line in what would be his last game and a performance many will remember him by for years to come after he passed away last Friday.
"He was the best player on the field by a mile," said Tweed Coast Raiders captain and close friend Guy Lanston.
"If we had 17 Chris Cameron's that day, we would have won and had the chance to go back to back in the grand final.
"It was the last game we played together and he scored two tries and got three points."
Lanston and Cameron first crossed paths in 2008 at the Jets before joining forces at the Raiders in 2016.
Lanston said Cameron would be remembered as both a game-changing player on the field and a loveable larrikin off it.
"He was an integral part of us and our grand final win," Lanston said.
"We all enjoyed his company at training and the witty one-liners her always came up with.
"There wouldn't be a person who'd have a bad thing to say about him.
"We enjoyed every moment when he was there and he brought a great vibe to the club and had us in stitches most of the time".
"I can't speak highly enough about him."
While the coronavirus pandemic has halted any immediate plans to pay tribute to Cameron, Lanston said the club had already discussed retiring a jersey number in his honour.
And when ruby league competitions do eventually recommence, the Raiders will be playing for their fallen mate.
"Everyone wants to dedicate the upcoming season to him," Lanston said.
"We're definitely going to pay tribute to him when we get the opportunity.
"We're a pretty tight-knit group and everyone has been touched by him but it's hard to get around each other at the moment due to the current circumstances."