Bond University Rugby Club is remembering Warren Carey, a former president of the Gold Coast Breakers, as a ‘big picture doer’ who never sought thanks for his generosity.
Carey lost his battle with throat cancer early Saturday morning at the age of 72. Bull Sharks players wore black armbands as a mark of respect during their matches against GPS.
He nine year tenure as president of the Breakers began in 2003, the following year, the club won the 2004 Hospital Cup.
“That was just the icing on the cake for Waz he was just so happy,” reflected former Breakers’ general manager Tim Rowlands.
“Everyone went around to his house the next day for Mad Monday, and he was just one of the boys.”
Fellow former Breakers’ president Bob Fordham AM said the rugby fraternity will miss the popular clubman who was a key figure in the transition to Bond University for the 2014 Premier Rugby season.
“They [players] all came back to me very distressed about his passing, but they all commented on what a good club man he had been and what a great guy he had been,” he said.
“He was very, very popular with the players and the other board members and he was really a very good man at that difficult time for the Breakers.”
Carey moved from Sydney where he was known in rugby and cricket circles to help rugby compete with Aussie Rules and rugby league on the Gold Coast.
Rowlands said Carey was a kind man who would do anything for players and explained how he helped full back Marshall Milroy adapt to life on the glitter strip from New South Wales.
“Basically, Waz took him under his wing, housed him, fed him and basically became his second father – that was just the sort of guy he was,” he said.
“There was lot of stuff that Waz did behind the scenes that he didn’t want known as far as money was concerned, helping with this and that. He didn’t want any claps on the back for it he just wanted it done.”
Rowlands said Carey’s time in marketing with Coca-Cola helped him come up with ideas that weren’t part of the ‘conservative rugby scene’.
“He was a bit of a party boy, he liked to have a drink and a smoke. He would come into the changerooms after games, and he would either console the boys or party with them depending on the result of the game.” he said.
Following the merger will Bond University, Carey became director of the newly formed Gold Coast District Rugby Union.
Carey is survived by his wife Lorraine and two sons Matthew and Paul.
Family and friends are organising a wake to celebrate Carey’s life.