An iconic larrikin, a staunch supporter of bush racing and his local footy club, but most importantly just a genuinely good bloke.
The tributes have poured in for George Wright after the well-known Parkes identity passed away at the age of 54 last Thursday.
Whether he was travelling hundreds of kilometres to race horses at clubs big and small all around the state, or handing out advice to players of all ages at the Parkes Spacemen Rugby League Club, Wright was a hugely popular figure who always brought about a smile.
After being raised around harness racing in Sydney, Wright soon made the move back to Peak Hill, where his family had originated from.
His grandfather, also George Wright, trained trotters while his father Ted Wright raced the good galloper Blue Lake, winner of several country cups, in partnership with Ron Jeffs from Peak Hill.
At age 17, Wright became a harness racing trainer-driver and stayed in the sport for 20 years before his switch to the gallopers. His best pacers included Billy War Cloud and Regal Monarch.
"The Wrights have been a well known family in harness racing, particularly around Peak Hill," Parkes Harness Racing Club Life Member and friend, Craig Dumesny, said.
"George continued to show a strong interest in the sport right up until his passing. He still had many good friends in the sport and followed their success with great interest.
"On behalf of the Parkes Harness Racing Club and the wider harness racing fraternity, we send our heartfelt condolences to George's wife Leanne, son George junior and his partner Shelly, his daughter Bianca, sister Tania and her children James and Sarah and partner Wayne."
After his time as a trainer-driver, Wright then enjoyed a long career training gallopers and he became renowned for travelling long distances to place his horses to advantage.
"George was a really good bloke and it has come as a bit of a shock to learn of his passing," racecaller Col Hodges told Racing NSW.
"He never really had any superstars, the horses he had were pretty average, but George was a master at placing his horses.
"He'd put his horses on the truck and go anywhere to win a race - Broken Hill, Louth, Enngonia; you name it. He was very popular and will be terribly missed."
Wright won the Central West Picnic Trainers' Point Score Competition (an 11-meeting circuit) six times in succession and took out the NSW Picnic Trainers' Premiership on numerous occasions.
Apart from his success at the Picnics he had numerous TAB track winners and one of his best gallopers Jellybean Jack finished third in a three way photo finish to Jackpot Queen and Double Your Money in the famous Wellington Boot. Jackpot Queen later won races in Melbourne.
Racing wasn't his only passion though.
Wright played rugby league for Peak Hill in his younger days while he went on to be a committee member and water boy for the Parkes Spacemen, a club where his son George Jnr is also heavily involved.
"It's not just a loss for our club, but every club," Spacemen president Joe Spicer said, fondly reminiscing about the club favourite.
"He was meant to run water but he'd spend more time talking to everyone in the crowd. He was just an iconic larrikin.
"He'd do any job. He'd drive the bus or step in to help coach. He'd do it all and was just one of those iconic blokes and he was bloody funny."
Spicer added Wright's ability to make new players feel comfortable and embedded in Parkes was something the club will miss the most.
Wright was also a long-time employee with Parkes Shire Council, while his wife Leanne has done the office work for the racing stable and is also employed as an assistant to people with disabilities. George Jnr rides the majority of trackwork for the Wright stable while he's also been the assistant coach of the Spacemen reserve grade for the past two seasons.
Wright had just completed 27 years of service to council before his untimely passing.
He commenced duties with council as a labourer on February 18, 1992 but it was soon noted that he had higher skills and he progressed to a truck driver/supervisor role in 1995.
This later became a ganger role in 2003, supervising the tar patching team to repair roads in the shire.
More recently, Wright was keen to put into good use his knowledge of the shire, in particular its vast road network and he successfully applied for the role of technical officer in 2013.
Parkes Shire Council General Manager Kent Boyd said that it was with a great deal of sadness that he learned of Wright's untimely passing on Thursday morning.
"George was a real character who had the ability to always make you laugh," he said.
"We both grew up in Peak Hill so he always had an anecdote about the characters we knew in common.
"His relationship with his colleagues was one of great friendship and support.
"George would always speak his mind and was forthcoming with his opinion on matters wide and varied. He treated everyone as an equal and expected the same in return.
"I know he will be sadly missed by both the office staff and outdoor workers, not to mention the wider community.
"The shire has lost one of its real down-to-earth, colourful characters."
Ben Howard has been the Director Works and Services for the past four years and prior to that was manager of works for just over six years.
"George has worked in my department for the entirety of his 27 years with council," he said.
"As the manager and then director that oversaw the various areas of work that George was employed in, I was in regular contact with him and like the General Manager has mentioned, I enjoyed George's dry wit and many and varied stories that he would tell.
"He impressed me by not being afraid to progress his skills and try new things.
"George was a valued member of our department who will be sorely missed," Mr Howard said.
George Wright is survived by wife Leanne, son George junior, and daughter Bianca.
A funeral service will be held from 10:30am on Tuesday, March 19 at the Peak Hill Catholic Church.
Wright's service will be followed by a wake at the Railway Hotel, Parkes.