‘Rest easy brother’: Community mourns gentle giant
There's been an outpouring of grief on social media following the tragic passing of a popular Sunshine Coast rugby league player.
Dale Best had been playing for the Maroochydore Swans in a trial game against the Kawana Dolphins at the Kawana sports precinct when he collapsed on the field on Saturday afternoon.
The 34-year-old's club took to Facebook to confirm the tragic news.
The Maroochydore Swans senior rugby league club wrote: "It is with a very heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dale Best."
"Dale has been a big part of the Swans family for a very long time and will be missed and remembered by many.
"All our love, support and best wishes to Dale's family and loved ones."
Tributes flowed from league clubs across the Sunshine Coast and Queensland.
Stanley River Rugby League Football Club writing, "we are deeply saddened by the news of Dale's passing."
"On behalf of everyone at Stanley River, we offer our sincere condolences to Dale's family, friends and teammates at Maroochydore Swans."
Selena Jeffery wrote "a beautiful soul gone way too early."
"The beast on the field and gentle-giant off the field, you will be very much missed."
While Steve Davies from the Alexandra Headland Surf Lifesaving Club told of how he coach Mr Best in the club's junior boat crew.
He said he was a powerful young man with great determination.
"1500 metres for a five minute effort of an ergo rower is the score all junior rowers aspire to reach," he wrote.
"When Dale was 15-years-old and he surpassed that score, I remember the smile on his face as he lay exhausted on the ground, his only words 'I did it'.
"Rest in peace champion."
Queensland Rugby League released a statement on Sunday afternoon confirming the QRL had received a detailed report, with witnesses confirming there was no evidence in the tackle of a head or neck injury, nor any report of foul play.
The statement said Mr Best briefly stabilised on his knees after making the tackle before collapsing.
"Paramedics attempted to stabilise the player, who was subsequently taken to hospital, where sadly he was later reported as deceased."