A heartbroken Belvoir cricket club will say goodbye today to one of its favourite sons.
Ryan McNeil, or 'Eggy', lost his long battle with cancer earlier this month. He was 39.
"He led his life in a way you could follow," Nat Sariman said.
"He was positive with absolutely everybody around him."
In a mark of respect for his standing with the Eagles, many from all grades will attend the farewell.
"He'd always take the time to know people at the club, new people or a new family, he'd always try and make them feel welcome, he was awesome," president Brad Freake said.
As admired as he was, McNeil wasn't above being sledged by team-mates.
"He was the only off-spinner to bowl no-balls," Sariman laughed.
"You'd think a three-step run-up wouldn't be that hard to measure, but he certainly had some difficulties with that."
Freake takes up the story.
"He'd always complain to the umpires, 'I'd just like to inquire about where my front foot can go, last week they said it can be behind the line, another time they said it can be in the air'," he laughed about the offie.
"So when he'd bowl the next one we'd all say, 'we'd just like to inquire about where the front foot can go'."
But McNeil, who captained the club, was a fierce competitor, who once took 6-43 and 5-15 in successive weeks in the 2010-11 season.
"One of the funniest things about Ryan was he always had the message, 'go out and have fun', but he was one of those blokes who had one of the biggest cases of white line fever," Sariman joked.
McNeil mentored Sariman on cricket and life.
"We had a running competition for the Albury-Wodonga sporting champion across many sports," Sariman said.
"His catch phrase was 'age and experience will always beat youth and enthusiasm'.
"We were playing squash one day and I got up eight-nil and that's when his back became a bit stiff and he went home."
McNeil was also a much-loved schoolteacher.
"The kids just adored him," Sariman said.
"It was his infectious personality and he could instill a belief and confidence in yourself."
McNeil is survived by his wife Jessica and children Lara and Thea.
His funeral service will be held at Wodonga Golf Club at 10.30am.
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