Leagues pay tribute to a life cut short

Kate Fielding and Jacinta CantatoreSouth Western Times
Players from Eaton and Bunbury in the South West Football League pay their respects before the weekend’s match.
Camera IconPlayers from Eaton and Bunbury in the South West Football League pay their respects before the weekend’s match. Credit: Shane Earl / South Western Times

The mother of a young footballer who died during his Harvey Bulls’ training session last week says the bond between her and her son will never be broken.

Lachlan “Lockie” Hernaman’s sudden and tragic death sent shockwaves rippling through the football and wider South West communities last week.

While the Bulls versus Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault match in the South West Football League was called off on Saturday, the rest of the league honoured Lockie’s short but touching life with a minute’s silence before every game.

His beloved Bulls club – where he played more than 200 games – will hold a tribute match for Lockie on May 18.

Lockie and teammate Kyle Hickman with the Wesfarmers Dalgety Shield.
Camera IconLockie and teammate Kyle Hickman with the Wesfarmers Dalgety Shield. Credit: Facebook

The impact of the 20-year-old’s death was felt beyond the South West with the AFL honouring Lockie on the big screen at Optus Stadium during the West Coast Eagles and Gold Coast Suns match on Saturday night.

Lockie’s mother Melissa, eight-year-old sister Kailee and family and friends were also special guests in the changerooms at the game, just four days after he collapsed at training.

Kailee, 8, and Melissa Hernaman with Gold Coast Suns captain David Swallow after the Suns clash with the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.
Camera IconKailee, 8, and Melissa Hernaman with Gold Coast Suns captain David Swallow after the Suns clash with the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium on Saturday night. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock / South Western Times

Ms Hernaman has spoken about her son and the impact he has left on everyone he met throughout his life.

“At just 20, way too early, you left us doing what you love,” Ms Hernaman said.

“An amazing, loving, kind young man who was adored by everyone.

“You were regarded so highly and had a huge impact on so many lives.

“Our memories will be treasured forever – our bond will never be broken.

“Your sporting achievements through to becoming a qualified plumber and being the perfect son and brother, makes me forever proud.”

In an act of bravery and strength, Lockie’s young sister played her first game of football in the junior league for Harvey on Saturday.

Lockie’s father, Michael Reynolds, also spoke about his son, saying the family’s hearts were broken into a million pieces.

“We will forever miss you. We were blessed to have such an amazing son and big brother and we will never recover from this loss,” he said.

Lockie collapsed during his team’s routine training session a week ago today and it is believed he never regained consciousness.

In what were his last moments with his family, Lockie had just hours earlier arrived home after a week-long holiday with his mother and sister in Melbourne where he fulfilled one of his dreams to watch the Anzac Day AFL clash.

Tributes continued to flood social media across the weekend and yesterday, with Lockie described as a selfless and caring mate, brother, teammate and son.

Colts players from Donnybrook and Augusta-Margaret River pay their respects before the weekend’s match.
Camera IconColts players from Donnybrook and Augusta-Margaret River pay their respects before the weekend’s match. Credit: Louise Buckland

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