The voice of Cobden falls silent

By Jared Lynch
Updated November 7 2012 - 2:23am, first published June 3 2009 - 1:49am
The voice of Cobden falls silent

THE distinctive shriek of "Come on Bombers" will become a distant echo across south-west football grounds after the death of avid Cobden supporter, Colleen Sullivan.Mrs Sullivan, 50, lost her battle with bowel cancer at South West Healthcare's Warrnambool hospital on Tuesday night.Despite the crippling effects of the disease she remained positive to the final stages of illness, inspiring strength in others.Her husband Mark yesterday described her as the most unselfish and vibrant person he had ever met."We spent more than 30 wonderful years together -- I was a lucky one," Mr Sullivan said yesterday."She always maintained a positive attitude."Mrs Sullivan was born on April 11, 1959, and grew up in Cobden with her 10 siblings. Although she was involved in many community groups, ranging from night netball, school auxiliary committees and junior sports, it was her involvement in the Cobden Football Netball Club that made her known across the south-west.When her beloved Bombers made it to the 2007 Hampden grand final she admitted she had a reputation for being the club's loudest supporter. "It's a great family club that I am happy to be involved in," she said.The mother of three first got involved when she was 16. She barracked first for her husband, who put on the boots for the Bombers' seniors, before cheering on son Ricky and daughters Renae and Naomi."She was an icon of Hampden league. Everyone knew her for her cheering," Mr Sullivan said.Three years ago Mrs Sullivan began her dream job of running Camperdown College's canteen. "She absolutely loved it," Mr Sullivan said. "Feeding and looking after kids would have been something she would have done for free. She lived for our children and would do anything for them."Mrs Sullivan was still active in the community right up until February, where she organised a team for the Cancer Council's Relay for Life in Warrnambool.As well as battling her own illness, Mrs Sullivan was determined to help others fight cancer. Two brothers, Gerry and Jack, both died of bowel cancer at 47 and 42 years.She lost her sister Debbie to a brain tumour at 14 and her nephew Corey, 28, died of bowel cancer four years ago."The whole thing is to get it before it gets hold of you," she said, displaying her incredibly optimistic attitude.Mr Sullivan said while his wife would be missed, plenty of people would be left with happy memories."She was the most unselfish person that I ever knew," he said. "Colleen had a magnetic personality and left a lasting, positive impression on anyone she came across. Everyone she knew drew strength from her."