-REST EASY MATE-
On the 26th of May 2012, the Hills Rugby Club lost one of its most loved members, Andrew Heffernan. Andrew, more commonly known as ‘Heff’ around the club, was tragically killed when he was struck by a vehicle whilst walking home from a night out with his mates. His untimely passing was without warning and tragic. The biggest tragedy is that this was an accident that could have happened to anyone, and yet been so easily avoided without the recklessness displayed by others. Andrew was 23 years old and in the prime of his life and at the time enjoying another year of rugby with his mates at Hills.
With the Internet playing as big a role as it does today many of you who knew him found out via facebook and other media. His friends and family at the time did their best to alert everyone they could in person or on the phone including those abroad being other family and friends, a truly tragic time in many young lives for people who shouldn’t have to go through such a thing.
Andrew was a great Son, brother, boyfriend and mate. Heff started his career playing for Hills in the clubs Colts team in the 2007 Season. This team would go out and give their best for the club each week, despite usually being on the end of some hefty defeats. He played alongside his best mates Steve Bowden and James Murphy and many who play at the club today. It was quite common for them to head straight to footy after 2 hrs sleep after being out all night at the RSL drinking Bundy draughts. Im sure a reason for their hefty defeats, but their improvement throughout the year was inspirational to the entire club.
As the years progressed, Heff and the majority of the colts team continued to play their rugby at Hills and progressed into the Seniors, where a number of them continue to play. Due to work commitments, Heff, an underrated Number 8 and flanker, wasn’t available to play each week and therefore spent most of his time in the lower grades. And it was for this reason why Heff epitomised what subbies rugby, and more importantly Hills rugby is all about. He did not play rugby for personal recognition, he played because he loved the game, the Hills club and his mates. He would arrive at the ground for the 5th grade game in the morning and be there for the final whistle in 1st grade all because he was a clubman in the truest sense and someone you wanted to be around.
He was a quiet larrikin who had a smile that could light up the room and a presence that garnered respect and appreciation of him being with you. A night at the bull was not the same without Heff and they never will be. I know Heff is missed by everyone at this great club particularly, Ben O'halloran, Ryan Siviour, Ben Cividin and Mitchell Woods who spent many a nights, holidays and special occasions with this great man.
In light of this, whilst Heff can no longer be with us at Hills in person he will always be in our thoughts. And to acknowledge his contribution to the club, the Hills Rugby Colts Player of the Year Award will be known as the ‘Andrew Heffernan Colts Player of the Year’. It represents Heff as someone who started at the club as a colt, progressed to seniors, gave his all no matter what position or grade he was playing, and who will always be with us. It also acknowledges the importance of the Colts side to the Hills Rugby Club, and the role they play in continuing to make Hills the best club in NSW Suburban Rugby.
To Heff….Forever Black & Red.