The Parramatta Eels players and staff wore black armbands in Friday's clash with the Penrith Panthers in memory and honour of Will Smith's grandfather Bill Smith, Maika Sivo's younger brother Luva and longtime Eels junior staff member Dave Caire
Will’s grandfather, Bill Smith was described this week as one of the most prominent figures in the Newcastle community over the last 50 years. He was co-founder of the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-operative, foundation chairman of the National Aboriginal Rugby League Association and a former councillor of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. More than being a leader in Newcastle and also the indigenous community, Bill Smith was a father of six, a grandfather of 18, and great grandfather of 50. He passed away earlier this week at the age of 83 but not before learning that his grandson Will would captain the Eels side this evening.
Dave Caire was an Eels Harold Mathews Cup representative until he was involved in a major accident at age 16 which cut short his promising football career. For nearly 20 years Dave was part of the footballing staff that looked after the Eels junior programs and was universally respected by the Club and the many players across the NRL and the wider rugby league community who helped to nurture on their footballing journeys. Following his passing earlier this week, Dave’s family and the Club received numerous messages from former and current players across Australia, New Zealand and England. Dave’s influence and engagement was felt to this very day, with at least 10 members of the current Eels squad having interaction with Dave during his time with the Club until his recent health battles.
Maika's younger brother Luva suddenly passed away last week in Fiji.
On behalf of the entire Parramatta Eels Club we pass on our sincere condolences to Will Smith and his family and Dave Caire’s family – forever they will be part of our Eels family.