REGAN Grieve grew up playing for Magpies, so it was a poignant moment when, during his funeral, one flew onto the field where he once played.
Bright orange and yellow football boots lay upon a table at the entrance to the Mackay Junior Rugby League grounds in South Mackay yesterday.
The field was a special place to the North Queensland Cowboys Under 20s player, who scored his first try there.
Regan died at the Australia Day long weekend, just days shy of his 19th birthday.
Mourners, including Cowboys coach Paul Green and the club's football general manager Peter Parr, gathered on the field to celebrate a young life gone too quickly.
Close friend David Ackers, who coached Regan at Cowboys feeder school Kirwan State High in Townsville, delivered the eulogy at the service on behalf of Regan's family.
Mr Ackers said Regan's personality always shone brightly and that he was a star with natural talent.
He said he first noticed Regan when he was just 15.
"On many occasions we would have one-on-one chats," Mr Ackers said.
"So many of these were encouraging but there were also those chats, that all young men need, about his mischievous ways.
"It was all part of his growing up and the development of the special relationship we had.
The young footballer had all the attributes to make it to the top, Mr Ackers said.
"In September 2011 Regan moved to Townsville to further his education in rugby league.
"This is when I started to learn Regan was more than one of the best rugby league talents in the country."
The junior rugby league field was always a sacred place to Regan, Mr Ackers said.
"From his first try just over there to the last time he was here, when the Bears played St Pat's," he said.
"There is no doubt he had many fond memories here."
Regan attended Fitzgerald State Primary School and Mackay State High School.