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Hundreds of mourners say goodbye to Clinton McGrail-Skinner

FAREWELL: Mourners watch on as the hearse carrying Clinton McGrail-Skinner departs from Frank McGuren Field in a police escort. Photo Matthew Elkerton
FAREWELL: Mourners watch on as the hearse carrying Clinton McGrail-Skinner departs from Frank McGuren Field in a police escort. Photo Matthew Elkerton

THE sun shone down bright on Frank McGuren Field as many mourners turned out to say their final goodbye to much loved Grafton teenager Clinton McGrail-Skinner.

The funeral, held fittingly on the halfway line of the Grafton Ghosts home ground, was filled with many fond memories of Clinton and his love of football, his love of his many friends and his cheeky smile that shone so often.

Members of the Grafton Ghosts, the South Grafton Rebels under 18s side and the Bulgarrngaru form a guard of honour for the pall bearers to carry Clinton McGrail Skinner's coffin from Frank McGuren Field. Photo Matthew Elkerton / Daily Examiner
Members of the Grafton Ghosts, the South Grafton Rebels under 18s side and the Bulgarrngaru form a guard of honour for the pall bearers to carry Clinton McGrail Skinner's coffin from Frank McGuren Field. Photo Matthew Elkerton / Daily Examiner Matthew Elkerton

The Dean of Grafton, the Very Reverend Donald Kirk, lead the ceremony which gave mourners a chance to bond in celebration of Clinton's life and grieve his tragic death.

"The question that needs to be asked is 'who we are? and how are we related to one another?' That was answered in Clinton's life by the extraordinary friendships that he shared, the love that he shared and the family connectedness that he had," Rev Kirk said.

"It is the fact we have one another and there is never a time when we do not have someone to talk to."

The effect Clinton had on his family, friends and peers was evident at yesterday's service with many willing to give touching tributes to the Ghosts' under 18s captain.

"Clinton Christopher McGrail-Skinner also known as "fat boy" or "click clack" was a friend to many within the community, he will be greatly missed," close-friend Murphy Thompson said in her eulogy.

"I was one of the many people who were very lucky to have known Clinton for many years. I was very blessed to have known his humorous personality and hold him close to my heart like a brother."

The Thompson family and Clinton were the closest of friends growing up and Jye Thompson remembered his ability to make people smile.

"Clinton was one of a kind," he said. "There is no one that can walk in to a room with that personality and that smile and just lift the mood.

"We could not have asked for a better friend or brother than Clinton.

"He was so passionate about what he wanted in life, he had so many goals and dreams and he was focused on achieving them."

At the conclusion of the service players and officials from the Grafton Ghosts, the South Grafton Rebels under 18s side and members of the Bulgarrngaru formed a guard of honour as the coffin was carried by family members to the back of the hearse.

A police escort led the hearse and a long procession of many cars to the burial service at Clarence Lawn Cemetery.

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