‘He’ll be missed’: Region mourns selfless sports identity
With a cheerful smile and positive outlook, Shane Bridley spent more than two decades pouring his passion and time into supporting the region's sports community.
It was a dedicated and selfless contribution, and one that is fondly being remembered by friends, family and various clubs after the 70-year-old lost his battle with skin cancer on Saturday.
While a Collingwood tragic, Mr Bridley was a lover of all codes and fast became a prominent and friendly figure on the Sunshine Coast sport scene.
"He did a lot for kids in sport and wherever his children played he would also be a supporter of the club whether it be as a team manager or even some cases a club president," good friend Len Whitney said.
He's survived by two children, Abbie and Luke, wife Julie and three grandchildren.
Mr Bridley was a life member of Maroochy Surf Club, a past president of USC Rugby Union club, a past president of Stella Maris Churches Soccer Association, and also a proud member of Maroochy River Golf Club and the Buderim Snooker and Billiards Club.
He was even the founder of "The Grey Magpies", past players and supporters of Sherwood Districts Football Club.
"He was always trying to help others," Mr Whitney said.
Mr Bridley was particularly prominent at Maroochy Surf Club, holding multiple roles including chairman of the Mal Pratt Youth Development Foundation for 17 years.
He received a Silver Certificate of Recognition in the International Year of the Volunteer for his efforts there along with 26 other surf lifesaving awards before retiring in 2018.
Fellow life member Ralph Devlin said Mr Bridley became hooked on the movement after serving as the club's bank manager at Commonwealth Bank.
"He was just one of the most courteous people I've ever met and was just a thorough gentleman," Mr Devlin said.
"He was just person who carried himself with the utmost dignity and politeness and you can't say that about too many people that you meet I don't think."
Mr Whitney became friends with Mr Bridley after their kids both attended Stella Maris Catholic Primary School in Maroochydore.
He had plenty of fond memories of their 20-year friendship.
"We enjoyed Australian and overseas trips together with our wives," Mr Whitney said.
"(I'll miss) his cheerful smile and outlook and his wanting for Collingwood to win a football match on Friday night down at Mooloolaba pub.
"He was a friendly, outgoing type of person.
"He was also a man who liked a XXXX heavy beer and felt that if you're having a beer it should be that.
"He'll be missed by us all and hopefully he's got a XXXX set up for us when we come and visit him again."
In a special tribute, Maroochy Surf Club will celebrate his life and contribution by having a drink in Mr Bridley's honour at 5pm this Friday.
With COVID-19 restrictions at the funeral, next Friday, September 11, the club will also form a special guard of honour in the carpark with Mr Bridley's hearse to pass through on its way to Nambour.
"That'll be unique and great send off," Mr Devlin said.
Mr Devlin encouraged members to don club gear and help form the guard of honour at 12pm on September 11.