The death of a former Dubbo sportsman after a physical altercation with the occupant of a Sydney home he was found in has shocked and saddened his old football club.
Personal trainer and weightlifter Bradley Soper, 35, played for Dubbo CYMS in under 18s and then first grade.
He collapsed and became unconscious following a struggle with Harrington Park resident Francois Schwartz, 44, who discovered Mr Soper in the living room of his house at 7.30am on Sunday, detectives said.
He couldn't be revived by paramedics.
- READ ALSO: High-value plans approved for Dubbo's CBD
Mr Schwartz was questioned for several hours by police on Sunday but was subsequently released without charge.
Dubbo CYMS stalwart Kevin Walkom, who first knew Mr Soper “as a kid” playing for the South Dubbo Junior Rugby League Club, said the death had been a shock to the community.
He said the apparent events were “very much out of character” with the Bradley Soper he knew.
- READ ALSO: Familiar waters for old Fishie
Mr Walkom, a CYMS board member who served many years as president, remembered Mr Soper as a “very likeable” man and a “good footballer and club man”.
“It’s very sad, someone young and still in the prime of their life, and something like this happens, it’s definitely a shock…” he said.
“From the CYMS club, our prayers and thoughts go out to his family.”
Mr Soper purchased the Fitness Corner Gym in Dubbo in 2010, returning home to run the business and play for CYMS before later moving.
The 35-year-old’s School of Strong, is described on its website as "the product of over 12 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer and athlete".
Among his listed athletic accomplishments is winning Asia's Strongest Man under 90kg in 2017.
In December Soper posted a photo to Facebook of himself third on a Strongman Champions League podium in Goa, India.
Another post showed him deadlifting 250kg more than a dozen times.
Mr Walkom recognised Mr Soper’s achievements in strength competitions.
“That takes a fair bit of dedication, training and discipline to be able to participate in Australia and overseas,” he said.
“Obviously it takes commitment.”
The personal trainer's links to Dubbo continued after he left.
“He’d come to the footy and catch up with his mates in town,” Mr Walkom said.
“He wasn’t a stranger to Dubbo.”
Friends and clients paid tribute to Mr Soper on social media on Monday, with one describing him as "a great bloke, an inspiration and an awesome coach".
"Very very sad news - I cant believe it - RIP Brad Soper," said another.
Would you like more Dubbo and regional news?
You can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Daily Liberal. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up to our free or subscriber only newsletters below: