GILROY Santa Maria won four games straight to claim the inaugural Will Murdoch Perpetual Shield yesterday.
Kelin Corradi was named ‘Best and fairest’ in an under-13s tournament contested by his Gilroy side as well as Ingham State and Abergowrie College.
Former Cowboys captain Gavin Cooper awarded Kelin his prize and assisted Andy and Kelly Murdoch, Will’s parents, and his sister Kenzi in handing out the winners’ medals.
While making an emotional speech, Kelly said: ‘Will would have loved to have been out there today with his mates – and going for the win.’
The tournament is a tribute to Gilroy’s Will Murdoch, who lost his life aged 12 in a tragic accident earlier this year.
Abergowrie won their two games against Ingham, to claim second spot in a three-way tournament that will be an annual event.
Gilroy principal Kevin Barnes thanked all those who had helped to make the day possible, adding: ‘We’ll be back next year.’
Gilroy captain Grant Martin, who was a pallbearer at Will’s funeral, lifted the shield for their team.
To close the event, captains from the three schools handed a bouquet of flowers to Kelly and Andy as well as Will’s grandparents Sue and Peter Murdoch and Jenny and Peter Sheahan.
This poem was shared to start the event:
The Will Murdoch Perpetual Shield
Today we start a great event.
A gift from Willy, heaven sent.
So if you break and score a try –
be sure to look up to the sky
where Willy’s watching from a cloud
the brightest angel, beaming proud.
Young Will was magic on the ball
and though he wasn’t very tall,
the size he gave in chunk and height
he doubled up in heart and might.
A boy of 12 with cheeky chat
who loved to wear a cowboy hat.
And when he stepped out on the field
his face was eyes and gummy shield.
When monsters tore in like the wind,
young Willy Murdoch – gleaming – grinned.
He’d muster up his mates to pull
them to the ground, like wrestled bull.
Though he was only 12 years old
young Willy Murdoch broke the mould.
This boy made smiling into art.
He lives forever in the heart.
The Pocket’s rocket, quick and lean.
Perpetually a sub-13.
We speak these words to start the day.
But more than words – Will loved to play.
So Abergowrie, Ingham State
and Gilroy men – we’ve marked the date.
Now play it tough boys, play it fair.
Defensive grit, attacking flair.
Now play with heart boys, play to win.
Now play and think of Willy’s grin.
Now play with courage, play with pride.
And feel his spirit in your side.
Good luck to all who take the field.
It’s time to fight for Willy’s shield.