Cameron Hyde only lived in Tamworth for three years, but the impact he had on the community is still felt today.
Having moved to Tamworth in January 2012, Hyde taught PE at Oxley until the end of 2014. During this period, he also played football for North Companions and Souths United, and coached their juniors.
But, after returning to his native Lismore in recent years, the 31-year-old passed away in April of 2021 following a five-year battle with bowel cancer.
In his memory, the first Cameron Hyde Cup was held yesterday, when Companions and Souths clashed in first grade and reserve grade.
"He had a big heart and felt strongly about youth development," Companions stand-in coach and event organiser, Gavin Thompson, said.
"He was an all-around good guy, and was taken too early."
When speaking to anybody who knew Hyde, it quickly becomes clear that he possessed an ardent passion for coaching and talent development.
His dedication was so obvious that an old mentor of Hyde's successfully recommended him for a coaching role at the Liverpool FC Academy when it opened in Lismore.
Just 31 years old when he died, Hyde was survived by his wife, Tara Garrett, and their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Lennie.
He was first diagnosed with cancer while living in London, in May 2016.
Although Thompson said Saturday's event was hastily put together, he hopes to see it become a full-fledged fundraiser in future years, which will feature all the teams from both clubs and raise money for bowel cancer research.
To see her husband memorialised by both clubs that he played for, Garrett said, was "a beautiful legacy".
"He put so much time and effort into coaching and playing, he probably advocated more for coaching in the last six years or so before he passed away," she said.
"It's really nice that that's been recognised and people are still thinking about him.
"It'd be nice for Lennie to know that."
Souths United won the first Cameron Hyde Cup, having overcome Companions in both reserve and first grade.
As significant underdogs, particularly in first grade, Souths coach Darrel Mole said his side pulled out their best performance of the season during their 1-0 win.
"That's the best we've played," Mole said.
"We're getting into a rhythm now with our patience. Our focus this year has been patience and trusting each other, and that's what we did today."
The cup was decided on aggregate scores, meaning both the first and reserve grade totals were taken into account.
This, organisers hope, will extend to both clubs' junior sides in 2023 should Northern Inland Football be able to schedule both teams to meet in all grades for the second edition.
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