TRUE to form, Karl Jacka had the final word at the end of an emotion-charged funeral at Lavington Oval on Friday after succumbing to cancer a week ago.
A video of Jacka shot in the final week of his life, cut short at the age of only 35, was played to the 2000-plus mourners who filled the grandstand at the homeground of one of his former clubs, Lavington.
Team-mates from Panthers, Howlong, Henty, Balranald, Wodonga Raiders and most recently Rutherglen joined rivals and officials from many others alongside family and friends for the 80-minute service.
Many came dressed in club polo tops as requested in the funeral lead-up.
The premiership cup won by the Balranald team he coached in 2009 sat atop his coffin.
His one parting wish was for his wife, Cristy, and daughter, Lucy, to be looked after.
"Even though it is my funeral there is absolutely no way I was not going to have the last say,” he said.
"The big thing I want everyone to know is I think I've lived a really good life and I'm fulfilled in a lot of ways.
"But I’m not happy about it."
His own message followed tributes from his wife and daughter.
Mrs Jacka focused on some positives, including re-connecting with old friends and support from medical professionals who treated her husband, in an otherwise devastating outcome.
Lucy said she and Karl were "like two peas in a pod" and he would never be forgotten.
"If I can see the stars then I know dad is around," she said.
"My dad is a very good man."
The eulogy was delivered by Ben Fifield who provided a snapshot of Jacka's life from being born and bred at Balranald to Albury in 1994 before returning to his hometown for some "unfinished business" with the town's football club.
His grand-father Leo and father David had both played for the club.
"Karl became the first ever homegrown coach to win the premiership with the Roos," Fifield said.
"Karl continually kept in touch with the group and culminated in many of them visiting Karl in Albury just a few weeks ago."
Extended family tributes were read by Jacka's father-in-law, Ian Paterson, and his uncle Larry Coates.
Rutherglen Football-Netball Club president Greg Lumby fought back tears in a tribute on behalf of the Cats who Jacka coached into finals last season.
Poems were also read by Jak Hancock and Archie Jones.
The funeral was led by Lester & Son's chaplain Ross Barnes.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.