28-Year-Old Father-Of-Two Dies During Rugby SF Tackle
The wife of a 28-year Sydney man who died after collapsing during a rugby league game on the weekend, has paid tribute to the father of her two children.
Grant Cook was playing for the Murwillumbah Mustangs in their preliminary final match against Casino on Sunday, when he collapsed shortly after being tackled.
Officials tried to resuscitate the father of two, before ambulances arrived. He was then airlifted to hospital where he sadly passed away overnight.
The cause of death is still unclear, but there are reports Mr Cook suffered cardiac arrest.
The death has shocked the community, with the Northern Rivers Rugby League president, Brian Rix, confirming players will be offered counselling.
His wife, Colleen, posted a heartbreaking tribute to Facebook.
'My goodness. Where to start? And what's the correct way to announce the passing of a husband, son, father, brother, uncle, cousin, teammate and friend so many of us loved,' she wrote.
'My beautiful husband Grant is now an angel watching over us. Life can be so cruel. He has left a huge hole in my heart and I know all family, especially his parents, are hurting trying to understand this tragedy.
'Although I have been in denial for hours at the hospital at what the head doctors, intensive care team and specialists were advising, I knew very early the outcome and am slowly accepting that I could not hold and kiss him forever and I had to at some point walk away from him and come home to look after our children, and be there for them when the questions come. And they will.
'And it already hurts an immense deal. Walking away down that hospital corridor was one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I'm surprised I made it out with how heavy my legs and heart and body felt.
'We loved him so much, and he loved us. And I guess this part is what hurts me the most. Him not growing old with me and watching our children hit each milestone.'
'Grants father Geoff is obviously confused and hurting but is in the business running the show with our amazing staff. As hard as that is for him, he acknowledges the practical side. When I am consumed with raw emotions and can only compartmentalise work right now as something I'll deal with later. So from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!'
'For everyone sending thoughts and messages. Thank you. I am unsure how we all will get by. But day by day it will happen. And I guess I wanted to those words out there as I do feel immensely proud of Grant. He helped so many, he loved unconditionally, he forgave others and taught me to do the same. He actually taught me many things. And held me together in my darkest days.
'He had the most beautiful blue eyes which both our children were blessed genetically with so that's comforting I will see him in our children daily. My worries would always disappear with his presence, his beautiful smile and his kind words on how it will all be ok.'
'Rest in peace Grant Geoffrey Cook. You achieved so much at such a tender age of 28. God took another good one away from us. He must have his reasons. But it doesn't lesson my grief. You died doing something you loved so passionately, and I guess that's how I have to look at it. You finally got to wear that number 6 jersey before the season was out too I always did say I would love you forever and a day. And you know I will.'
Our thoughts are with his family.
If you'd like to help out the family a Go Fund me page has been set up: