The Inverell Saints AFL Club is mourning the loss of life member Kevin Pay, who passed away at 80 years old earlier this week.
Kevin has always had two main loves; his family and Australian Rules football.
His playing career took him to the Collingwood Magpies, where he played 19 games between 1960 to 1962.
He moved to Inverell in 1967, where he established his business Blue Gem Contractors, helping improve various facilities including Kamilaroi Oval, Rugby Park, Varley Oval, Cameron Park, the harness and jockey club tracks, and netball and hockey courts.
On top of the Saints, he was also made a life member of the Harness Racing Club, Jockey Club and Show Society, and he was given a service to sport award in 2018.
Kevin helped establish the Inverell Tigers club in the old north west AFL competition in the late 1980s, and was a big part of creating the Saints when they entered the AFL North West (AFLNW) in 2004.
Inverell Saints president Jason Gobbert said Kevin was a "fantastic supporter" of the club.
"He's always mentored the younger kids and took it on himself to educate the younger kids on how to play footy and supported our club massively, financially through sponsorship and things like that," he said.
"He was very heavily involved. He travelled to all the games, always in the dressing sheds giving advice to individual players and just highly respected within the club right from the top down."
Former president and Saints and AFLNW under-14s coach Gerry Taveira said Kevin was always a big influence on the junior players.
"He was an assistant coach with me to the AFLNW under 14s. He gave us good guidance on that and absolutely loved the juniors having a run," he said.
"He was fantastic that way, just very involved in wanting to make sure the juniors did well. It's a big loss."
Gobbert said Kevin was thrilled to see his family become heavily involved with the Saints.
"His son and grandson and his granddaughter all play for the Saints. That's why he loves it so much," he said.