The Dubbo Macquarie football family will come together with the wider Dubbo community next Tuesday to farewell one of the great larrikins.
Perry Thomas Meredith died last weekend at the age of 24, leaving behind a heartbroken bunch of clubmates but also a shattered family.
While he didn’t spend a long time on Earth, he crammed a lot into his life
Sure he was a hard-as-nails footballer, a premiership winner with the Raiders in 2012, but first and foremost he was a son to Mark and Liz, a brother to Jarryd and Kendell, a grandson to Pat and Jill Meredith, and Barry and Mary Perry, an uncle to Ruby and a nephew to Guy and Rachiel Meredith, Michael and Lisa Perry, Michael and Margaret Wiegold, and Michael and Di Kempston.
He was also a business owner, making waves in the building and construction industry.
From a personal perspective he was a mate, just a ripping bloke from a great family who was the life of the party.
You get an idea of how he was so much to so many people.
“Pez made us so proud and our hearts are forever broken,” read a text I got from his father Mark this week.
“Our families lives are now changed but we are committed to celebrate his life because he was truly such a beautiful young man that lit up a room and warmed people’s hearts.”
Zac is going to flog me at training, so I want to be in shape before he gets a crack at me.
I last saw Perry at the Dubbo RSL gym two weeks ago. He was there doing his own training prior to the official pre-season beginning.
I gave him some stick about his ever-growing man-bun and a few minutes later noticed him talking to a couple of CYMS players who were also there getting some fitness work in.
He was a bloke who was respected whether your football colours are blue and white, green and white, or red and green.
He knew the pain that was going to come his way from new Raiders co-coach Zac Rennick, one of his great mates and someone he had a friendly rivalry with at training during Zac’s playing days.
With his trademark grin and giggle he told me “Zac is going to flog me at training, so I want to be in shape before he gets a crack at me”.
A week later the unthinkable had happened.
During the week I had a chance to look back at some old photos we have on file of Perry.
I also came across a story written in 2012, outlining his path from being a St Johns junior to a Macquarie senior.
“If I’d ended up playing with CYMS I don’t think Pop (Barry Perry) would have had me over for Christmas so it was always going to be Macquarie.”
That was typical Pez.
The funeral of Perry Thomas Meredith will be held at St Brigid’s Catholic Church from 11am next Tuesday, November 29.