JOCK Anderson has been remembered as a kind-hearted mentor who was devoted to his young family.
Friends and family were yesterday struggling to cope with the news of his tragic death in an accident south of Lismore early Sunday morning.
Mr Anderson, of Camperdown, was struck by a milk tanker as he lay on the side of the Camperdown-Lismore Road about 6.30am. His vehicle was found parked about a kilometre north.
He leaves a wife, Sharna, and children, Chloe, 4, and Sienna, 2.
The 32-year-old was well known across the south-west. He grew up at Nirranda, attended school in Cobden, played football and basketball with a number of clubs and worked in operations with Wannon Water.
Mr Anderson’s last full football season was in 2012, when he dominated the Warrnambool and District Netball Football League reserves best and fairest count. Playing for Nirranda, he polled 31 votes to win by an astounding 17 votes.
He played for the Blues a handful of times in 2013 before signing up with Lismore-Derrinallum in the Mininera and District league this season under the direction of coach and workmate Mark Sinnott.
“He was just really kind-hearted, loyal, disciplined and dedicated to his fitness,” Mr Sinnott said yesterday.
“One of his strongest traits was his willingness to hand on his sporting knowledge and his experience to his young peers, especially in basketball more so than football.”
Mr Sinnott said although 2014 was his first year with the Demons, Mr Anderson had been made very welcome and had fitted in very quickly.
The pair began work together about nine years ago when Mr Anderson first moved to Camperdown and they travelled to the catchment together each day.
“He’d try to introduce me to his music,” Mr Sinnott recalled. “There was always a debate, which he won. After a period of time, he moved into our neighbourhood, just over the back fence, and it was easy to see the love of his life was his devotion to his wife and two kids.
“His adoration for them was overwhelming and, to me, they are now his strongest traits.
“The respect and loyalty Jock showed in his short time with us at Lismore-Derrinallum carried him in great favour within all our playing groups and our committee.
“He will be greatly missed and us, as a club, will be better off and significantly stronger for having known him.”
Mr Anderson first played juniors with Nirranda before emerging into senior ranks at the club and later playing with Timboon Demons, Allansford and Old Collegians.
Nirranda president Anthony Foster described Mr Anderson as a “quiet bloke” who was obviously quite skilful on the ground.
“(He) enjoyed his footy and wanted to come back and have a kick with his mates. He wasn’t a ‘look how good I am’ bloke, just a quiet achiever,” Mr Foster said.
“We don’t forget our own. The club is absolutely shocked and saddened by his passing.”
Old Collegians president Mark Toleman said the club was also shocked that somebody so young could be taken.
“He was a lovely bloke, I always found him accommodating when he’d talk to you,” Mr Toleman said.
“He was very gifted, very clever. He could kick either side of his body and use the ball well. He had a bit of speed and wasn’t afraid to get out and run with the ball.
“He was always a regular senior player with us, he wasn’t a stop-gap measure. He was regularly in the seniors and a very good one. We were disappointed the year we lost him but we understood why he went back to Nirranda,” Mr Toleman said.
Mr Anderson was also well known on the basketball court where he played with teams at Camperdown, Timboon and Warrnambool.