'This will cut deep': Dad's sudden death shatters community
SUNSHINE Coast, greater Queensland and Victorian communities are reeling after the shock death of a much-loved father and talented Aussie Rules footballer.
Maroochydore Roos teammates were advised yesterday morning of the sudden death of 39-year-old Brent Forsyth.
Mr Forsyth is believed to have taken his own life on Sunday night or early Monday morning.
His death has rocked the footballing and wider communities and tributes have poured in for a man known for his upbeat positivity, supreme fitness and an ability to talk to anyone.
Mr Forsyth's close mate of the past 10 years, Maroochydore Roos colts coach Phil Birchmore, said the football journeyman moved to the Sunshine Coast about 4-5 years ago.
He said his mate was an "amazing dad" who shifted north from Victoria to live closer to his young daughter.
"He always had her (daughter) by his side when it was his turn to look after her," Mr Birchmore said.
"He was really enjoying life. Everything was going so well.
"He was gearing up for the next phase of his life. It's just unbelievable to be honest."
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Maroochydore Roos president Matt Bury spoke of Mr Forsyth, affectionately known as 'Bluey', and his selflessness, as he dedicated so much of his time to developing junior footballers.
"He was a very, very talented footballer," Mr Bury said.
"It's a real devastating loss.
"He was a fine man and very giving of his time."
Mr Bury said he'd only spoken with Mr Forsyth on Saturday afternoon and 'Bluey' was discussing his plans for the future, upbeat.
"He was always smiling, always positive," Mr Bury said.
He described Mr Forsyth's death as a "real wake-up call for men in general" as national suicide prevention R U OK day approaches this week.
Mr Bury said the message of checking in with a mate, be it over a barbecue or a beer, had never been more relevant to his club than right now.
Footballers gathered at the Maroochydore Roos clubhouse last night to console each other after learning of Mr Forsyth's death.
Mr Birchmore said Mr Forsyth had come back to Maroochydore this year to play with Mr Birchmore and another great mate, Shaun McKenzie.
They won the 3rd division flag together for the Roos, playing together for the first time since 2006.
Tributes have poured in from around the country, including the Kerang, Hamilton and Harrow Balmoral football clubs in Victoria, who expressed how sorely Mr Forsyth would be missed.
The Brisbane Lions AFL club has also paid tribute to Mr Forsyth, who had worked with the Brisbane Lions academy under-16 and under-18 sides for the past two years.
Mr Birchmore said he was stunned by his mate's death, adding he'd found his soulmate in his new partner and the future was looking bright as Mr Forsyth's coaching career blossomed.
"This is going to cut deep," he said.
He said the message at the club rooms last night had been one of the need to talk about feelings.
"We're humans, we're not men," Mr Birchmore said.
"We don't need to show bravado. If you're hurting (just talk), we're a family club."
AFL Sunshine Coast also paid tribute to Mr Forsyth who worked closely with the region's juniors and was also a premiership winning coach with the Gympie Cats in 2015.
AFL Sunshine Coast regional manager Paul Tresise said it was "absolutely numbing" to know Mr Forsyth was no longer here.
He believed 'Bluey' would leave a lasting impact on many junior footballers, whom he said Mr Forsyth had a "passion for mentoring".
"He was a fierce competitor on the field but extremely dignified off it," Mr Tresise said.
He said there was one story that summed up Bluey.
A junior player Mr Forsyth had mentored as a coach entered the senior footy ranks and ended up squaring off against Mr Forsyth in a game of local footy recently.
The junior footballer said Mr Forsyth was still giving him instructions and tips on where best to lead and how to improve his game, even as an opposition player.
"It's all a bit surreal and numbing to be honest," he said.
"He was last guy you'd expect (to take his own life).
"Why? Just why?"
If you or someone you know requires help, phone: Lifeline: 13 11 14, Mensline: 1300 78 99 78, Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636