Teenager leaves lasting mark

TRAGIC LOSS: William Fry with sister Rose. The siblings had an "incredible" bond, according to their mother Rachel.

HE WAS a talented soccer goalkeeper and passionate about the environment, but William Fry will be remembered most as “the best son a parent could dream of” by his family.

The 17-year-old’s life was tragically cut short on August 31 following a medical episode while boarding at Pembroke School.

His Beachport-based family – mother Rachel, father Nathan and 11-year-old sister Rose – have been touched by the outpouring of support from family, friends and strangers following William’s unexcepted passing.

Among the tributes was a touching display of class at Sunday’s Limestone Coast Football Association clash between Apollo and Millicent United, two clubs who played a role in William’s development into one of the state’s most promising goalkeeping prospects.

The 17-year-old had moved to the state’s capital this year to attend Pembroke School on a scholarship, also continuing his rise through the soccer ranks with Eastern United FC.

“He called us every day from boarding school without fail,” mother Rachel recalled.

“Our William was the best son a parent could dream of having, he was so kind, thoughtful and loving.”

The family moved to Beachport over a decade ago when William was aged four, with his passion for the environment developing over the years while living in the coastal town, where he would take an extra bag down to the beach to pick up litter.

“He was also passionate about the environment and wanted to change the world,” Rachel said.

William was also part of the Beachport Surf Live Saving Club, earning the coveted Silver Medallion late last year.

He also had his own business, William’s Woodcraft, collecting materials from the coast to support his craft.

“He also loved reading, particularly Terry Prattchet, and was always listening to music,” Rachel said.

“Most of all, his bond with his sister Rose (11) was incredible.

“She has lost her world.

“He was our heart and Nathan, Rose and I are devastated but so grateful for the love and support from our family – who are unfortunately all in Victoria – friends and community.”

Tributes have flowed for the teenager over social media, including the Beachport Surf Live Saving Club, which remembered the “loved young superstar”.

“Will was involved in all aspects of club life, from assisting and mentoring our young Nippers, to being a leader within the Youth squad,” it read.

“In 2019 Will was awarded the Wattle Range Council’s youth award under the category of contributions to the community.

“His award recognises a young individual who has made a positive contribution to the community, has volunteered their time to help others and is an active member of the community.

“Will touched all members of the club with his infectious smile, his quiet and gentle nature, and his incredible passion in serving his community.”

In a heartfelt tribute, Eastern United FC said William would always remain part of the club, with discussions underway to rename the club’s Under 18 best and fairest trophy in his honour.

“Will joined us this year and quickly became part of the club, a great young man and will be sadly missed, especially by his teammates who formed such a strong bond with Will,” it read.

A GoFundMe created by Apollo Football Club to support William’s family has already raised over $11,000.

The Trac on Abere Street, Millicent and the Southern Ocean Tourist Park on Sommerville Street, Beachport are also collecting cash donations for the family.

The Beachport Surf Live Saving Club will hold a paddle out on Sunday, September 19, with all welcome.

A briefing will be held from 6.45am at the Beachport Town Beach rotunda with the paddle out from 7am.

Non-paddlers are being encouraged to line the Beachport Jetty, with a community breakfast to follow.