fox-1St Mary’s Anglican Church in Ballina overflowed with mourners today as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people gathered to farewell local footballing legend, Les ‘Fox’ Roberts.

Fox died suddenly on May 24, aged 52.

He was the son of the late Richard (Dick) Roberts senior, himself a legend of local rugby league, and Fanny Roberts, of Cabbage Tree Island; the husband of Amanda Roberts; father and father-in-law of Leslie junior, Renee and Terry, and Taylah; and son-in-law of Walter (deceased) and Stella Bryen.

Fox was a star goalkicking fullback for many years, playing with the now-defunct South Lismore club before finishing his career with Ballina Seagulls and the Wardell Magpies.

fox2He played in many Aboriginal league knockouts with Cabbage Tree Island.

He was a member of several grand final winning teams, and finished his career as captain-coach of the Wardell team which won the coveted Timber Cup competition in second division.

Fox was a founding director of the Northern United club, which this season is making its debut in Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League.

A moving eulogy was given by life-long friend Dave Kapeen, and speakers from clubs he played with praised his ability. Dave Kapeen’s mother, Bundjalung Elder Bertha Kapeen, gave the Welcome to Country.

The speakers included Chris Binge, the inaugural coach of Northern United, and a former teammate, Robin Harley, who now is the NRRRL president.

In a tribute which highlighted Fox’s standing among the league fraternity, a South Sydney Rabbitohs jumper signed by Rhys Wesser and other Rabbitoh club members was placed on Fox’s coffin.