A COVID crowd has celebrated the exceptional innings of a cricket lover who went to bat for Dubbo.
Long-time town clerk and general manager of the former Dubbo City Council, Tony Kelly, died on November 26 at the age of 77 years.
A requiem mass at Dubbo's St Brigid's Catholic Church on Wednesday morning drew Mr Kelly's family, friends and former colleagues, who affectionately called him "TC".
Mourners almost filled the 200 seats available in the huge church with 88 people watching the live stream of the service.
Mr Kelly, who worked for the council for 36 years, almost 30 of them as town clerk and later general manager, has been credited with overseeing the rapid growth of Dubbo in previous decades through the development of "water, sewer and roads" infrastructure.
His attention to council finances and construction of recreational infrastructure, including Dubbo's riverbank ovals, cycleways, Victoria Park and Apex Oval, are also part of his legacy.
Mr Kelly's influence extended from city hall to the cricket pitch.
Mark Riley, who stepped into Mr Kelly's "huge shoes" upon his retirement in 2004, notes the Dubbo District Cricket Association competition is called the Kelly Cup.
"As I understand it, this came about after the association sought assistance from the council with a trophy for the third grade competition," he said.
"Tony said that would be fine. Some two to three weeks later Tony turns up with a trophy all right.
It was emblazoned with the name that stands till today, Kelly Cup.
"That was Tony."