A LOVED son and brother and a best mate to his friends was laid to rest at Castlebrook last Friday.
Hundreds of friends and family members gathered to pay their respects and to celebrate the life of Nicholas Luke Stan Edwards at St Matthew’s Catholic Church in Windsor on Friday.
Mr Edwards died when the car he was driving collided with a table-top truck on Wilberforce Road, Wilberforce, in the early hours of Monday morning (January 14) .
Due to the crush of numbers, many couldn’t fit inside for the service, but the blazing temperatures resulted in some collapsing from heat exhaustion.
Crates of water were carried into the church grounds and handed out by Nick’s school and team mates.
The well-known Nor-West Jets under 18s star has been described as a ‘great young man taken way too soon” by those who knew him best.
As the hearse carrying the coffin left the grounds, the crowd applauded silently, shaking hands and exchanging hugs in memory of the 17-year-old.
In a moving farewell, a blue and white guard of honour lined the street outside the church to escort Nick to his final resting place.
“He made us laugh with his goofy behaviour. He inspired us with his dedication to family and friends,” Joan Edwards told the service.
His friends said, ‘‘Nick was one of those people that you only meet once in your lifetime. He had this impact to make people feel good about themselves and know that he will always have your back.
‘‘The Edwards family have truly raised such an incredible, uplifting, kind-hearted young man and they should be extremely proud of the example to others that Nick had become.’’
The news of yet another young life lost on our roads shattered many in the Hawkesbury community.
‘‘Losing one of your best mates is one of the hardest thing to deal with,’’ Pat Muller wrote on Mr Edwards’s Facebook page. ‘‘Knowing you were with him two nights ago and now that I’ll never see him again is heartbreaking, you will be dearly missed by me and everyone else and we will not mourn your death, rather celebrate your life.’’ Harry Stever also posted a heart-felt tribute saying he was ‘‘shattered, to say the least’’. ‘‘Nick Edwards, you were a champion on and off the field. If I could be one hundredth of the footy player you are I would be a happy man,’’ Mr Stever said. A former Gazette sports editor said “Nick was a terrific young footballer. Fearless and very talented.”
AFL NSW/ACT also extended its condolences on behalf of the entire football community to the family and friends of Nick. “In the most tragic of circumstances, the football community rallied together to support those who knew Nick Edwards, and it would have been of great comfort to his family and friends to have them present to farewell him,”AFL NSW/ACT general manager Tom Harley said. The Edwards family expressed their gratitude for the tremendous outpouring of love and support from family, friends, Hawkesbury AFL Club, Bede Polding College and the wider community. “For all the flowers, cards, messages, meals, food hampers and gifts which are helping us get through this difficult time, we will be forever grateful,” Nick’s father, Steve, told the Gazette on behalf of family Liz, Cam and Josh.