League president recounts former teammate's horror accident
LOWER Clarence Magpies Rugby League Club president Darrin Heron was returning from a funeral at Casino when he came across a serious motorcycle accident.
As he slowed down he saw a man lying on the ground and soon realised it was his former rugby league teammate Dion 'Mooch' Donnelly.
"On the side of the road there were cars stopped and people were flashing their lights and waving us down," Mr Heron recalled.
"We just saw a pair of shoes lying there," Mr Heron recalled.
"We had no idea how he was."
Last month 'Mooch' broke both his legs, fractured his arm and punctured a lung in a motorcycle accident at Tatham.
After having surgery at Lismore Base Hospital, he was moved two days later to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
"We went up there and visited him last week," Mr Heron said.
"I was in there talking to him for an hour. His mother and brother-in-law were waiting outside for us while we yarned.
"He was in good spirits, he was sitting up and talking and really getting into it."
Donnelly's family hopes to upgrade his home to make it cheelchair accessible for his recovery and has appealed to the community to help raise funds to cover his medical bills.
Mr Heron said Donnelly, who was transported to Brisbane the same day Lower Clarence Magpies played Northern United in an NRRRL trial at Crozier Park in Lismore, was well respected in the rugby league community.
"He was a Baryulgil boy," he said.
"I played football with him and against him when we were growing up.
"I knew him better when he hooked up with my cousin Annete Laurie. We are pretty close to their young boy Daine Laurie who plays for Lower.
"Mooch was a big part of the three football clubs in the Valley so it would be really good to band together to support him because it is going to be a long recovery.
"He will be out of action for a very long time, but he will get back to the Mooch that we know; that happy go lucky larrikin that nothing ever worried him.
"Mooch is a very proud man and would not ask for help. So come on everyone, please give as much as you can. Everything helps."
To assist Mooch in his recovery process visit www.gofundme.com/scwyunbs.