This year's Tony McGrane award recipient received a standing ovation for his service to the community, particularly for using football as a tool to help youth in the region.
Former Australian rugby league footballer, Ronny Gibbs was named as the 2021 Tony McGrane award recipient at the Dubbo Regional Council Dubbo Day awards.
The accolade, named in honour of the former mayor of the city from 1991 to 1999, recognises someone who has gone above and beyond in their line of work.
Mr Gibbs has been working in Dubbo and the far west since the late 1990s, but has volunteered his time as a referee, coach, weekend helper and "constant ear".
Behind the scenes, often he is called on informally by police, Aboriginal Liaison Officers, education department and teachers to talk with young people who might need help.
Indirectly and directly, Mr Gibbs has also raised thousands of dollars across a wide range of sporting and community causes. He is known to have an "endless supply of memorabilia" and access to giveaway items he sources and donates to donate to many fundraising events and charity auctions.
He is also often arranging packs for kids in vulnerable communities, which include footballs, shirts, shorts and boots.
Receiving the award on Tuesday night, the humble resident emphasised volunteering was "just a bit of your time".
"I just love helping people out," he said.
Originally from Brewarrina, Mr Gibbs grew up in Bourke and Goodooga where he had dreams of becoming a footballer.
"I was 18-years-old in 1978, in Bourke sitting on the bench, that's how good a football player I was," he said.
A few years later his dream came true when he was given the opportunity to play for the Sydney clubs of eastern suburbs, Manly, as well as Gold Coast and Castleford in the United Kingdom.
Now after settling in Dubbo 26-years ago, Mr Gibbs travels almost 90,000 kilometres each year across the Barwon-Darling region, hosting clinics in schools and the wider community.
While he uses football as his tool to engage with young people, his message is always "work hard, go to school, never give up".
"The red carpet wasn't rolled out for me," he said.
"I worked hard and I had to have some support people around me."
Most notably, each year Mr Gibbs holds a fundraiser as part of the Ronny Gibbs 7s tournament, which has been going for 27 years.
While it's unfortunately been called off in the last two years due to COVID-19 proceeds raised is divided and donated to community needs in Bourke, the Far West Academy of Sport and other benefactors.
Recently he has also been instrumental in raising awareness of those with special needs in the community and has assisted in establishing opportunities for inclusion football.