SUNSHINE Coast Stadium will be awash with emotion this morning, as mourners pay their respects to Sunshine Coast Falcons' prop James Ackerman.
It will be a chance for a community rocked by the loss of the popular father-of-two to say farewell to a man who was universally respected.
James died in Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital following an incident in an Intrust Super Cup match against Norths at Nundah last Saturday.
The 25-year-old suffered serious head injuries after a tackle from Norths' Francis Molo.
His death sparked an unbelievable outpouring of grief and respect from across the globe for the hard-working, gritty front-rower.
NRL players, coaches and administrators are expected to be among those who will pay their respects today.
They will be joined by what is expected to be a huge crowd of locals who will turn out in a show of unity for the Ackerman family, who had shown incredible strength following James' death.
It was expected there would be a mixture of formal attire and club colours at today's public service, with youngsters from around the Coast expected to don their jerseys to pay tribute to a man who from all accounts was one with a huge heart.
Falcons' CEO Chris Flannery said there would be seating set up on the field for today's service, as well as the grandstand's capacity, and a big screen set to display a touching tribute to James.
"The Stadium's looking really nice and Caloundra RSL will hold the wake for everyone to go and catch up after the funeral," Mr Flannery said.
"Redcliffe's bringing the bus up too."In lieu of flowers, the family have asked that donations be directed to the Ackerman Family Trust Fund, with funds to be deposited to: Bank of Queensland, BSB: 124 001, Acc No: 1150 0777, Ref No: 151 181
Courtesy of Sunshine Coast Daily