A fighter to the end

11-07-2018 by admin

HERITAGE: Friends and family of Junee’s Daryn Deacon perform the haka during his funeral at St Luke’s on Monday. Picture: Declan Rurenga INSET: Daryn DeaconThe Junee community farewelled a dearly loved father, friend and footballer on Monday.

Mourners spilled out into the street outside St Luke’s Anglican Church to farewell DarynDeacon.

The 45-year-old died on Wednesday last week after a bravebattle with cancer.

He was a husband to Danielle and dad toMelissa, Billie, Kauri, Maddy, Aaron and Andre.

Mr Deacon’s childhood friend Rob Hall paid tribute to a competitive and compassionate man fiercely proud of his Maori heritage.

“He had a wicked sense of humour, an infectious laugh and was cheeky bastard but for me, he was a devoted husband and father,” Mr Hall said.

“He was respected by many for his courage and I admired him for his kindness and compassion.”

Mr Deacon was born in New Zealand to Bill and Georgie Deacon, settlingin Junee in 1976 and it was at school thatMr Deacon met Mr Hall.

“Sport played a big role in Daryn’s life, it was rugby league in the winter and cricket in the summer,” Mr Hall said.

“He was smart, but it’sfair to say sport and lunch time were his favourite subjects.”

After leaving school Mr Deacon headed out for work, before movingto Goulburn and thenNew Zealandwhere he met his wife, Danielle.“There’s no doubt she was the love of his life,” Mr Hall said.

When he returned to Junee, Mr Deacon playedfor the Diesels winning the 2006 reserve grade premiership.“He repeated what his dad had done 20 years earlier,” Mr Hall said.

Mr Deacon’s daughter Billie said her dad was her rolemodel growing up and always put his family’s happiness and well-being ahead of his own.

Billie said her dad’s love and commitment to her mum and his children was something she looked up to.“He meant everything to us,” she said.

Mr Deacon was competitive, “he would never let us win, even at snap,” Billie said.

As part of her training, Billiewould race her dad in a 100-metre sprint,“he never let me win even as a 10-year-old and he retired when I was 14, remaining undefeated.”

“On the field he was warrior, off the field he was humble,” she said.

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