RON Crowe left the oval bearing his name for the final time as hundreds packed into the ground to farewell the former international rugby league player on Saturday.
It wasn’t just a man who played footy who was farewelled, however, with many in the community marking the passing of a family man.
See the full gallery of photos from Ron Crowe's funeral here.
The third of six children, Ron “Dookie” Crowe was born in the home of his grandmother on November 25, 1932.
At the tender of age of 16, Ron began playing in the Maher Cup and was eventually a fixture in the town’s first grade side.
In April 1952, Ron married Nance, the love of his life, and together they had four children, Janice, Anne, Denice and Michael.
“We always knew how much he loved his family,” granddaughters Kristy Thomas and Tracey Ewings said during his eulogy.
“He had a heart of gold and a smile for everyone.
“We’re all so blessed to have a Ron Crowe in our life ... he was a special man with a very special story.”
While Ron worked hard as a woodcutter and transporting wheat during harvest, it didn’t take long for his talents in the forward pack to be recognised and he was selected to play for Country NSW in 1956, the first of 15 appearances.
He made his debut in green and gold during the 1961 tour of New Zealand and went on to play in five Tests.
He played for South Sydney in 1962 – but only travelled up to play on the weekends before returning home.
His training was simply running out to Ridley’s Farm and back.
After a year of commuting, Ron returned to West Wyalong permanently.
Granddaughter Kristy Thomas said his heart was firmly in the country and declined an offer from another club, which included a farm on the outskirts of Sydney.
He led The Mallee Men to premierships in 1965, 1966 and 1968 and also had coaching stints with Riverina and Barmedman.
West Wyalong’s rugby league ground was named the Ron Crowe Oval in 1965.
Ron hung up his boots in 1978, but while he had retired from playing, he took a special interest in helping to train and develop West Wyalong’s junior players.
President of the West Wyalong Rugby League Club, Mark Cafe, said Ron’s legacy as a footballer could easily be measured.
“We’re here on this wonderful oval named after him ... our legend, the local boy,”
Mr Cafe said his legacy was also as a loving husband, a caring father and grandfather, solid brother and a reliable uncle.