Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Sweet Sorrow for Mum

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Sweet Sorrow for Mum

Article excerpt

JENNY Stirling could not be prouder of Matt Gillett if he were her own son.

Gillett, who'll play five-eighth for Brisbane in place of injured skipper Darren Lockyer against Manly in tonight's NRL preliminary final, is as close to her as a son could be.

He was best mates with her son, Todd Parnell, a promising young Sunshine Coast footballer.

They played together for the Bribie Island Warrigals and shared a dream of one day being teammates in the NRL.

Parnell's life was snatched from him tragically, aged just 22, after allegedly being king hit during a fight outside the Warrigals' Bongaree clubrooms on July 25, 2009.

Gillett was rocked by the death of his good mate, as was the shattered Bribie Island rugby league community.

Parnell's death, though, proved to be a turning point in Gillett's life, on and off the football field.

Unable to attract interest from NRL clubs, Gillett changed his attitude following his mate's death. …

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