On his home ground, in the shadow of the goalposts he fiercely protected from opposition teams, hundreds of mourners gathered to farewell Karuah Roos rugby league player and young father-of-two Ben Langdon.
"All of Karuah is here, I reckon," said Mr Langdon's childhood friend and team mate, Daniel Evans . "It's the biggest [funeral] I've seen here.
"He's so humble, it probably would have surprised him. But to me, it's no surprise. It just shows the impact he had on so many people, how much he meant to so many people."
Ben Langdon died after a single-vehicle crash on the morning of June 11 at Balickera, north of Raymond Terrace. Police are still investigating the crash.
The 26-year-old's death devastated his footy club, the communities of Karuah and Raymond Terrace, where Mr Langdon grew up, and his family.
For the man who was a warrior on the rugby league field was, as he was described at the funeral service, "as soft as a marshmallow around his girls". Mr Langdon and his high school sweetheart and fiancee, Amani, had two daughters, three-year-old Nyah and Avayah, aged one.
In her tribute read to the large gathering, Amani Ping recalled as a teenager she had "the biggest crush" on Ben Langdon, and when "the big, brave front-rower" finally asked her to be his girlfriend, he did it by typing the message on his phone while sitting next to her.
"That day you made me the happiest girl alive," she wrote.
"You always made me feel safe, always assured me that everything was going to be okay, we'd be okay. You had me, I had you."
The hearse transporting Mr Langdon had been accompanied onto Lionel Morten Oval by the roar of motorcycles from the Brothers Riders Association. Each rider wore a patch close to his heart that read, "In Memory of Lango".
Motorcycle procession organiser Nathan Jolly said of his "brother" that, "Ben was everything we always strive to be".
"Just probably the most solid fella I've ever met in my life," Mr Jolly said.
As the jersey-draped coffin was carried onto the oval, with Mr Langdon's three brothers acting as pallbearers, dozens of players and officials from the Karuah Roos club formed a guard of honour. Worimi men John Schultz and Justin Ridgeway honoured Mr Langdon with a didgeridoo performance and smoking ceremony.
"It's a great honour to be part of a celebration of Ben's life, and to help connect him back up with his ancestral spirits," said Mr Ridgeway.
Standing on the ground where he had passed the ball so many times to his front-rower and mate, Daniel Evans shared a memory of a semi-final. The Roos were behind on the scoreboard and time was running out.
"I admit I had nothing left, I was accepting defeat," he told his fellow mourners.
But Ben Langdon never accepted defeat. He took up the ball, running with "ferocity and tenacity", getting within five metres of the try line. On the next play, Daniel Evans scored.
"It was Ben's character that made that happen," Mr Evans said.
"Second to none, the best player. The best brother. The best fiance. The best son. The best father. The best bloke. Rest in peace, Benny."
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