MICHAEL Adams has been remembered as a sporting hero, devoted family man and a fiercely loyal friend to all those he met in his 65 years.
Hundreds packed out Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre to farewell the former Great Britain rugby league representative and long-time Tamworth resident on Tuesday afternoon, following his sudden death on March 10.
The back rower had a stellar 15-year career with his hometown club of Widnes in the UK from 1971.
The skipper also played a lead role in Widnes being named the ‘Cup Kings’, after that side made 25 finals in his time at the club where he amassed 415 club caps and 13 national caps.
In 1975, he was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame.
That same year, he packed up and headed to Australia, where he played two seasons with the Canterbury Bulldogs, before retiring and moving to Tamworth.
But his off-field achievements – as a family man who always made time for others – have left more of an impression on those he loved.
Family and close friends painted Mr Adams as a larger-than-life character with a wicked sense of humour, as they delivered touching tributes to the packed procession at TREC.
Paul Harris and Luke Turner delivered the eulogy, detailing how the talented sportsman scored his biggest win from a blind date at the Southgate Inn, Tamworth, in the early 1970s with now-wife Christine
She was taken with his gentlemanly ways of opening the car door, paying the dinner bill and carrying her over the gutter under one arm. They married in 1979.
“Mick was a star and still to this day, a hero to many, many people in Widnes because of his rugby skills and the way he had time for everybody,” they said in the euology.
“To myself and the rest of the family, he is a hero just for being Mike – a gentleman and truly the best man you could wish to meet.”
Above all else, Mr Adams was a family man to many.
Rachel McDonald and Tracey Langens said Mr Adams was not just a neighbour, but a life-long friend as they delivered a tribute to him, recalling his hilarious Friday night football commentary.
They said Mr Adams’ funeral would have been just as huge if he wasn’t an international football star because he made time for everyone who came into his life.
Keith Harris and John Peek recalled his football years.
Tamworth gained an outstanding new citizen when Mr Adams moved, his mate Trevor Leese told the service. He excelled at cricket, hockey, touch football and golf.
But it was Mr Adams’ humility and selflessness that he remembers most.
He recalled running into Mr Adams the Thursday before he passed away, helping a mate with rehabilitation after a stroke last year.
“It’s just another example of Michael’s mateship and willingness to support others,” Mr Leese told the service.
Mr Adams was the beloved husband of Christine and loving father of Jenni, Matthew and partner Luke, and Amy.
“Everyone will miss your friendship, mate, you were one of a kind with a heart of gold and had such a positive outlook on life, which was taken too short,” his good friend, Daryl ‘Dusty’ Russell, said.
A wake was held at the TREC after the service.