Nigel William Sim was an avid Essendon supporter who “enjoyed watching James Hird destroy a perfectly capable team”.
But while he was a huge fan of the Bombers, his family were his heart and soul.
On Monday wife Allison, sons Lachlan, Jackson and daughter Annabelle said goodbye to their beloved husband and father surrounded by more than 500 extended family and friends at Cobram Uniting Church.
Nigel, who was born in Kyabram on June 4, 1969, lost a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer on August 17.
Together with Allison, the couple owned and operated the Albury Horseland store for the past seven years and “Nige” was a universally liked and respected figure in the stock horse community - despite not riding himself.
Family friend Jan Durden, who delivered the eulogy, recalled Nigel’s primary schooling at Strathmerton followed by senior years at Cobram High School before he embarked on a dairy farming apprenticeship with his parents Merv and Joy.
He played badminton at Strathmerton, football for the Strathmerton Football Club and loved motorbikes.
But he always said the “busy days” really began once he married Allison Prosser (at the same church where he was farewelled) and son Lachlan arrived on February 24, 1993, closely followed by Jackson on November 6, 1994.
“After two years and eight months of Jack not sleeping, the night finally arrived that he slept through,” Jan recalled.
“Nine months later, Nigel’s princess arrived - Annabelle.”
Nigel’s three children were his life and he loved watching them in everything – and anything – they did.
The family has been heavily involved in the Australian Stock Horse Society and local Goulburn Murray branch for the past 15 years with Lachie and Annabelle regular competitors at branch, state and national level.
At these events you could usually find Nige, always eager for a chat with a “big smiley grin on his face”.
“Although not a horse rider himself, Nigel was always the first there and the last to leave,” Jan said.
“He made some amazing lifetime friends and travelled country he might otherwise never have seen.”
Jack followed in his father’s footsteps with the “kick-start style of horse riding” - dirt bikes.
Nigel loved a beer, a scotch, his family and friends.
He was often on the phone for great lengths talking farming with mates Dean Coburn and Paul Mundy, horse gossip with Scotty Chalker, or business with Greg Auer in Bundaberg, Queensland.
“He loved any excuse to have a chat,” Jan said.
“He was an amazing guy and will be sorely missed.”