Funeral service for Queensland NRL hero Carl Webb

NRL hero Carl Webb has been remembered by his children as a tough and courageous man during a heartfelt funeral service in his hometown of Dalby, with a host of rugby league identities also among the mourners.

The Queensland football icon, who played 15 matches for the Maroons as well as a solo test for the Australian side, died after a four-year battle with motor neurone disease.

Webb died on December 21 aged 42.

In a packed room of family, friends and fans, Webb’s white casket covered in yellow sunflowers sat front and centre as the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’le played over the loud speaker.

The corridors outside the room were also filled with people, with a large crowd also outside the venue.

Webb’s children Hunter and Brooklyn paid emotional tribute to their father in messages that were read to the mourners in attendance.

Hunter Webb said when they thought of their dad they thought of his strength.

“Not because of the footy you played or the boxing, but because of the courage you had to fight with a horrible disease,” they said.

“I remember every night before you went to bed, you would tell us a story about us when we were toddlers and that even though you had this disease that you were the exact same man inside.

“As you got weaker and older this didn’t change. Dad has taught me that a man’s spirit doesn’t die if faced by an incurable disease or a deadly virus, but only if he is forgotten.

“So I ask that my dad is not forgotten but rather remembered.”

Brooklyn Webb’s said her dad was the strongest man she had ever met.

“I’d seen him fall and he never even seemed the slightest bit bothered and neither did he cry,” she said.

“I still see my dad in the sunsets, in the strong winds and the rain, and I always know that he will be with me, forever looking down at me and helping me every step of the way.”

Earlier, Toby Adams came to the dais first to do the Welcome to Country calling Webb “a proud Aboriginal man”.

Mr Adams said the Welcome to Country today was of even more importance.

“Be thankful and be grateful for this country and the ancestors of this country for not only having us here today, but more importantly, for taking care of Carl’s body as he makes his way safely to Sky Country,” he said.

Webb’s uncle Ken Riddifold was first to speak during the eulogy and said Webb had always been an athlete who excelled at “rugby and boxing” and loved to win.

“In grade one he was so determined to win a foot race, he leaned so far forward to cross the finish line he fell over … he won the race,” he said.

He then touched on Webb’s fight with motor neurone disease and his will to fight.

“At 39 he was diagnosed with MND, realising many others were affected like him,” he said.

“He felt the need to start up a foundation to raise awareness and funding, holding various functions and events.”

Webb’s best friend Damon Keating then took to the dais and spoke of the life of his mate.

“Carl’s two passions in his early 20s were footy and a good time,” he said.

“I remember in the off-season of 2004 I had just returned from England. Carl had enjoyed the spoils of being in the Broncos 2000 premiership squad and his 2001 Origin debut.

“He was out of condition and out of the first-grade, this was due to his extra efforts he put into his second passion called having a good time.”

An emotional Mr Keating, in wrapping up, said: “There is no truer statement then only the good die young.”

“All men die, but not all men get to really live,” he added.

“Carl loved the quote ‘too busy living’ and I never heard him complain once in the five years following his diagnosis.”

An emotional Cass Jamieson, Webb’s partner and mother of his third child, took to the stage to honour “the love of her life” but had to get someone else to read out her eulogy as she couldn’t continue.

“We taught each other patience, acceptance and strength, and we have overcome and dealt with more in our short time together than what most people do in a lifetime,” it read.

“As much as I never wanted to let you go, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

Webb’s local rugby club, the Dalby Diehards, formed a guard of honour as his casket was carried by pallbearers from the service as the song See You Again by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth played over the speakers.

A smoking ceremony was held at the gravesite service for Webb, followed by the haka celebrating his New Zealand heritage.

It was performed by Clinton Toopi, who played in the NRL for the Auckland Warriors and Gold Coast Titans.

A farewell dance was performed by Wakka Wakka dancers before Webb’s coffin was committed to the earth with Life Goes On by Ed Sheeran and Amazing Grace by Gurrumul and Paul Kelly played.

Webb played prop, second-row and lock across his career that started at the Brisbane Broncos in 2000, before moving to the North Queensland Cowboys in 2005 where he played until 2010.

He then went on to play one final year in 2011 at the Parramatta Eels.

The Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys have announced the 2024 Good Friday derby between the two clubs will honour Webb.

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