On July 16th 2011, Halley Appleby ran on to the football field to do what he loved. That day there was a freak accident and Halley never ran off.
The 21 year old came on as a replacement during the UQ v GPS (Great Public Schools) Premier Grade match. During the game, he ran the ball up into a defending player, just as he’d done thousands of times before. He was brought to the ground by a legitimate front on tackle. However, as the play moved away, he lay motionless on the ground.
Unfortunately, Halley had received severe neck and brain injuries as a result of the tackle. Over the next 30 minutes both teams’ medical staff attended to Halley. Initially he was unconscious, his breathing slowed and then it stopped. CPR was performed before the paramedics arrived and he was taken to hospital. While he was being treated on the field, the UQ players stood arm-in-arm in the centre of the field, not moving until their friend and teammate was taken away in an ambulance.
Halley was declared brain-dead on Sunday July 17 at 3pm. One of UQ’s most popular and well-loved players was lost.
Halley made the world a better place and was well liked by everyone who knew him. With his gifted playing ability, cheeky sense of humour and easy going nature, he easily won the respect and friendship of his peers. His cheery personality and friendly banter made him someone you automatically liked, and would look forward to seeing. He thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the UQ Rugby Club, both on and off the field, and he epitomised the spirit of the club in so many ways.
His friends remember him as a happy jokester, who worked hard at his job, and loved and cared for those around him.