Easts and Sunnybank will contest the seventh annual Rick Tyrrell Cup at David Wilson Field this afternoon, with both clubs campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and commemorate Rick’s life.
Rick Tyrrell had a beautiful family, a successful Rugby career with the Queensland Reds, Easts and Sunnybank and was building an enviable profession in media.
In January 2015, Rick was one of the one in five Queenslanders in any one year living with a mental illness and one of the 72% of males who didn’t reach out for support.
Rick passed away due to his undiagnosed mental illness, with four of his close friends – Damon Rielly, Darren Gaffney, Michael Chettle and Alex Corones – forming the charity Rugby Unite following his passing.
Created in 2016, Rugby Unite works alongside the Queensland Rugby Union to improve the understanding of mental health and encourage positive action around the issue.
“As mates we did not have the mental health literacy to recognise his mental health challenges or how to support Rick in accessing available help,” Damon Rielly said.
“Rick’s death spurred us into action to do whatever we could, to raise awareness of the importance of mental health awareness and suicide prevention strategies”.
“…with mental illness affecting one in two Queenslanders in their lifetime, it’s more people than anyone really realises.”
In a show of united support and camaraderie, the Tigers and Dragons will play the full game in their opposition socks, with aim of establishing the Sock Swap an annual tribute, a message to walk in the shoes of another.