UNDER a slate grey sky with rain beginning to fall, an estimated 1200 mourners turned out to farewell popular local footballer Jay Lasscock on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old passed away suddenly earlier this month and the Queanbeyan community turned out in force to honour one of its favourite sons.
Speaking to a packed crowd that overflowed the St Raphael’s Church hall, spilling onto the street front, Lasscock’s mother Deanne spoke lovingly of a mischievous kid who had grown into a devoted husband and father of three.
“1000 words won’t bring you back, I know because I’ve tried neither will 1000 tears, I know because I’ve cried,” she said.
“In my heart you are always there…Jay my son, you will always be the most important part of my heart’s memory.
“I know you’re now loved in heaven, and that the angels up above have taken my place for now. I will give you all of my love, go rest in peace.”
Born in Queanbeyan, Lasscock attended St Gregory’s Primary School and Karabar High School before attending Erindale College. It was there he would meet his future wife Samantha with whom he would have three children: Cooper, Mia and Harper.
Deanne spoke of a young couple who had been very much in love from the early days of their courtship.
“Samantha tells us he was a true romantic who gave her a rose to carry in her school bag while he’d make sure she missed the school bus so that he could drive her home,” she said.
While at Erindale, Lasscock was part of the Talented Sports Program and was part of the school’s famed rugby league side that competed in the Arrive Alive Cup.
As a teenager, Lasscock also worked his way through the junior development ranks at the Canberra Raiders. In 2005 he was a member of the club’s SG Ball winning grand final side and in the same year represented the ACT at the Australian Schools Secondary Rugby League championships.
Although his dreams of pursuing a career in the National Rugby League did not eventuate, Lasscock would go on to be highly respected as one of the finest footballers in country NSW. Despite his youth, he was regarded as a club leader at his junior club the Queanbeyan Blues with whom he won a premiership in 2008.
But while passionate about his football, Lasscock’s father-in-law Robert Gardiner told of a man whose heart truly lay with his young family.
“They were a wonderfully happy, not-so-little family and we were so proud of them,” Gardiner said.
“Things were going so well and they had just started to put plans in place for the next round of renovations at their house. “Now he’s gone from our lives and our grief is deep and everlasting.”
Following the moving service, a large crowd gathered silently on the steps of St Raphael’s Church, Lasscock’s casket passed through an honour guard of his former Queanbeyan Blues teammates and Country Energy co-workers.