Falcons flanker remembered
AS DEB Mills cast her eyes towards the trophy Barbarians and Waves Falcons will be playing for tonight in the Spring Cup, tears filled her eyes and her body became covered in goosebumps.
In between the emblems of the two teams is a small plaque that reads "Travis Herschell Memorial Shield", and the thought of her son being remembered in such a way filled Mills with pride.
Herschell was killed in a crash near Gin Gin earlier this year and after nearly a decade playing for the Falcons, and with his brother Darel a member of Barbarians, the decision to play for a trophy in his honour was an easy one to make.
On the rugby field Herschell was a no-nonsense flanker who refused to ever take a backwards step.
And in the same way he lived his life off the field he tried his heart out for his mates during every second.
As Mills spoke to the NewsMail about what having the game played tonight will mean, her voice trembled with emotion as she said it was something she never thought would happen.
"I get goosebumps (thinking about what the game means) - I've got goosebumps now," Mills told the NewsMail.
"It's just an honour just to think that both teams think so highly of Trav - it's unbelievable, it's a big honour.
"I knew Travis was respected but I didn't realise it was by nearly everybody.
"It's just an absolute honour, a thrill, it's fantastic."
Herschell was able to mix with all types - if he was with his mates the boy in him came out but he could also pull himself back when the time required.
Waves Falcons have been the third-best team in the Spring Cup this season and even without the emotion of playing for the Travis Herschell Memorial Shield there is motivation to win.
After advertising the game on Facebook to its supporters the club had a great response.
"You should see the phone calls I've had this week," Falcons captain Nathan Freeman said.
"There's some blokes that haven't played for 10 years ringing up saying 'I'll strap on the boots, if it's for Trav we'll all pull our boots on'.
"He (Herschell) had a big impact on the club.
"We've got some old boys coming back to strap the boots on.
"There's a lot of supporters coming out to be there.
"It will be a good game, I was speaking to the boys and they are real keen."
And when it comes to who she is supporting tonight, Mills was clear.
"Falcons - go the Falcons, all the way," she said.
The Falcons and Barbarians game kicks off at 6.30pm and the Isis v Turtles match starts at 8pm.
Both games are at The Waves Sports Complex on Thabeban St.