Australia's first Indigenous Commonwealth Games gold medallist and celebrated Bourke local has passed away in Melbourne aged 79.
Gundabooka man - also known as the 'Boy from Bourke' - Percy Hobson has been remembered as a pioneer for Indigenous athletes in Olympic and Commonwealth Games competition.
Born in 1942 and raised in the western NSW town of Bourke, Mr Hobson was one of 10 children to parents Fanny Williams and Percy Hobson.
With no athletics club in the town, Mr Hobson was coached by Doug McBain by correspondence from Sydney, with most of his training undertaken in his own backyard.
According to a tribute posted by Commonwealth Games Australia, Mr Hobson would start his runup in a laneway between the pub and his house, and bound over a makeshift metal stand built by his cousin.
"The [Bourke] Council come along and dumped a big load of sand in the backyard...that was luxury plus," Hobson told Kris Flanders of NITV in 2020.
In later years Mr Hobson would land on rubber filled hessian bags, or old mattresses.
At age 13 Mr Hobson started high jumping at school carnivals, and by age 17 he was appearing in the national rankings leaping a modest 1.88m.
His entry into national competition was was also impressive, when competing at the 1961 Australian Championships, held on Lang Park in Brisbane, he placed 12th and last, clearing just 1.75m.
In 1962, at just 20-years-old, Mr Hobson broke the record when he leapt over a 2.11 metre bar and won gold in the men's high-jump at the British Empire Commonwealth Games in Perth.
Following the win, he was the toast of Bourke who were proud their town's name was being mentioned around the world.
"Yeah I'm pretty proud of that. That was the biggest achievement. The journey there. And I can't complain - I ended up with a gold medal," he told Kris Flanders.
"Didn't sink in straight away, you know, I was just emotional," said Hobson.
"I didn't cry or anything, I just really felt good."
The town celebrated his return with a civic reception on November 29, and in later years there was a park named in his honour and an entire area at the visitor's centre dedicated to him, with the council erecting a sandstone memorial detailing his successes.
In May 2021, a mural was completed on the Bourke Water Tower of Mr Hobson, by Lighting Ridge artist John Murray.
Mr Murray said the mural not only celebrated the trailblazing achievements of Mr Hobson, but stood as a colourful reminder of a story of "dedication and passion".
Mr Hobson was due to return to Bourke in early 2022 for its official unveiling.
Mr Hobson is survived by his four children - sons Wesley, Doug and Keith and daughter Francis, along with his six grandchildren and one great grandchild, along with surviving sisters Freda, Heather, Sue, Margaret and Jean.
A funeral will be held in Melbourne on Wednesday, which will also be livestreamed.