The family of the former AFL champion Paul Couch farewelled him as hundreds of fans gathered at a moving memorial service at Geelong’s Kardinia Park. Kardinia Park is the ground where he made 106 of his 259 appearances in Geelong’s iconic navy blue and white hoops.
The memorial service was held for a man who will be “forever remembered as a footballer’s footballer,” says AFL. Couch was a Brownlow medallist, Geelong legend and dedicated a family man.
The 51-year-old AFL champion suddenly passed away while cycling on the Great Ocean Road near Apollo Bay 10 days ago.
At his Geelong home ground, there was a flood of supporters, club greats, AFL personalities and representatives from the Warrnambool Football Club.
There was just one problem that so many people had a lot to say about a sporting star who never lost the universal touch.
Mark Bairstow, close friend of Couch and long-time Cats team-mate, remembered that Couch said, “If you ever get the chance to talk about me – don’t waffle on”.
Other than being a legend in the sport, Couch attested himself to be a dedicated family man. He brought up four children with his wife Geraldine.
Geraldine, the love of his life, believes that the best thing she ever got was to be loved by her husband.
“You were the man in our lives who was just absolutely everything,” she said. “I love that these kids, these gorgeous strong kids, have all inherited some of your mannerisms.”
“I’m just going to love you forever.”
Tom Couch, his eldest son, went on to play a handful of AFL matches for Melbourne, says ABC News. At the ground he recalled watching Cats games with his dad as a young boy and did everything his father said.
Paul Couch was running a healthcare equipment business in Kardinia Park and always kept his relation with Geelong.
He is survived by wife Geraldine and children Tom, Jessie, Joe and Molly.