Laughter and tears at Zane Purcell's funeral
ZANE Purcell's sense of humour echoed through the overflowing congregation at St James Anglican Church in Maclean this morning.
The 29-year-old's wife Rachel Purcell and brother Jacko Purcell both brought the crowd of more than 500 into spontaneous laughter at various stages of his funeral.
Mrs Purcell recounted her husband's "big, rumbling laugh" while Mr Purcell described his brother as "blunt, reliable, trustworthy and stern".
At other times the eulogies highlighted the pain and grief felt within a community who have lost a young man before his time.
Mr Purcell said "I could feel him there" as he described running down the stairs at Maclean Showground to run out for Lower Clarence Magpies Rugby League Club on Sunday.
"Zane you big dumb-dumb, I love you always and forever," concluded a teary Mrs Purcell.
Both spoke of Zane Purcell's genuine love for his two children, Izayah and Bonnie. Zane's mother Genelle Purcell, Patricia Laurie and Tonia Ryan also spoke at the funeral, while Dallas Waters and Brendan Randall delivered scripture verses.
Purcell died after collapsing on the field during a game at Ballina on May 10.