Former AFL footballer Chris McLeod has spoken to the community at a community service to help the city rebuild after the devastating earthquake.
Key points:McLeod is the first person to ever play for the Sydney Swans and he is one of the first people with Parkinsonís disease to speak to the publicAbout 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes after the quake in South Sydney in the hours after the disasterAboriginal leaders say they want to honour the community and speak to them about their hopes for recoveryThe Sydney Swan’s CEO Scott Penn said the team and fans will pay tribute to the man who died as well as the community affected by the quake.
Mr Penn said Mr McLeod had “done it all” and had “left an incredible legacy for our city”.
“We’re very grateful for his presence, his commitment and his spirit and his commitment to the cause of Aboriginal people,” he said.
“It’s a miracle to have a man like Chris McLean at our club.”
Mr Penn described Mr McLean as a “great man” and a “devoted father” who had helped his wife and family.
“We all feel the same in terms of sadness and loss at this time,” he told the crowd at the Sydney City Hall on Saturday.
“He left a legacy for Sydney that he never really left behind, and I’m sure for many others as well.”
The Sydney Football Club was notified of the news by its CEO Scott Penfold and the club issued a statement saying it was saddened to learn of Mr McLees death.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Chris McLee,” the statement read.
“Chris was a passionate football supporter, a true friend to all his family and mates.
He will be greatly missed by all.”
Mr McLaney’s family said he had “truly been a miracle” in his work.
“The outpouring of support and love that has come our way has been absolutely incredible,” the family said in a statement.
“My thoughts are now with his family at this sad time.”
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Jill, and their two daughters, Lola and Liza.
His brother Mark said he was “heartbroken” to hear about Mr McLeods death.
He said it was a great loss for the city, which was still recovering from the disaster.
“For me it’s a very sad time because I’m a huge supporter of the city,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I feel so privileged to be associated with the club and the city as a whole.”
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