Bittersweet week for Sharks as club great passes away
- Sharks dare to dream ahead of CDRL decider
IT'S been a bittersweet week for the Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks, who are contesting their first CDRL grand final in 20 years, but are also mourning the death of halfback Noel Haslam, a star player in the 1998 premiership-winning team.
And today, second rower Colin Prince, who played with Haslam in 1997 and 1998, remembered Noel as an outstanding athlete.
“Despite his small stature, he was able to mix it with the bigger kids right through to state championship level.
“It was at rugby league where Noel really excelled and was at the peak of his career when he led the 1998 Sharks to a premiership, collecting the CDRL Gold Medal for best and fairest player in the competition along the way,” said Prince.
Haslam went on to represent Cairns at State League level via the Cairns Cyclones. His career continued to Charters Towers Miners and Noosa Pirates where he secured back-to-back Grand Final wins alongside former NRL stars Noel Goldthorpe and Wayne Bartrim.
Playing State League for Wynumn Manly Seagulls, Noel settled in Gympie marrying his partner Nicole Ryan and had three children: Kane, Sophie and Chloe.
He continued to play for Gympie Devils and represented Wide Bay Bulls while in that region.
Noel grew up in Port Douglas and was the only son of Noel senior and Etta, brother to Sandra and Katie Pearl.
He was a registered builder and mentor to the indigenous youth through programmes from Thursday Island to Cherbourg, building day care centres, housing units and many residential projects.
“He was also an accomplished 800m and 1500m runner and enjoyed the assistance and support from his father who was a Physical Training instructor at Mossman High,” said Prince.
Prince said Noel was a salt-of-the-earth guy, a great family man who was loved by everyone and will be sorely missed.
Noel was laid to rest in Gympie on Monday and a memorial will be held in Mossman at a date to be confirmed. He fought hard after falling ill at work and continued to fight for 12 weeks until his passing. He was 44.
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