It has been a pretty tough couple of weeks for all involved with rugby league after the passing of Falcons player James Ackerman.
As the chairman of the club I just wanted to thank everyone for their overwhelming support for the Ackerman family and the Falcons Club, it has truly been amazing.
I thought I would share with you the club message that I delivered at James' funeral on Wednesday, it sums up, if possible the thoughts and emotions at the club.
"On Saturday the 20th June at Bishop Park it was the beginning of the end but also the start of a beginning. The tragedy that unfolded and the loss of a young man is very hard to put into words, also it's is extremely difficult for James friends and team mates, old and new as many have never had to deal with something like this. James was doing something he loved, something that takes courage to play and many of us will need plenty of courage to continue on.
The family have set the standard that we all need to follow, to say their courage has been outstanding would be an understatement, it has led the way.
The loss has fortified friendships, renewed old ones and started new friendships and all inspired by James, the man he was and his family.
At the Falcons Club we have been inspired by the overwhelming offers of support from around the country and we are eternally grateful, our focus for the immediate future will be about spirit, not winning or losing but about what we are, who we are and how we conduct ourselves, and how we must honour Ackers memory, and continue to support his family.
The jersey will be retired permanently so that in years to come when someone asks why there is no number 8 there will be a story to be told, a memory to be had and a legacy to uphold.
This year our motto has been Our Team, Our Town but it is plain to us all that it is actually Our Game, Our Rugby League Community and Our James Ackerman."
This afternoon at Sunshine Coast Stadium the club lines up against the Mackay Cutters, a hard enough job normally but today is to a level that I hope no other club ever has to go to.
Today is a tribute to James Ackerman and an opportunity to show support to his family.
As I said above the score is irrelevant, but the effort, physically, mentally and spiritually will have to be massive.
It is an opportunity to pay tribute to a fine young man, please feel free to come and join us, as the last two weeks has proved to me that we are all in this together, thank you.
Just on another note is very hard to thank everyone but I must single out Simon Ball and the staff ate the Stadium they have been wonderful through the season and particularly over the last two going above and beyond which means a lot to our club.