Remembering Ben on his special day were Kelly O’Farrell, Ben’s sister Emily Brooks (with Hunter Intervalo, 4 months); and Brett Turner (with Ben’s son Carter Brooks, 2½)

July 2, 2024

It’s been more than two years since former South Burnett Saints player Ben Brooks died of cancer, but his former club is making sure his memory isn’t forgotten.

The annual Ben Brooks Memorial Day was held at Lyle Vidler Oval on Saturday, with members of Ben’s family – including his young son, Carter – present for the special day.

They watched as the Saints took on the Warwick Redbacks, avenging their narrow defeat on the same day last year with a thumping 10.14-74 to 4.5-29 victory.

This is the third time the Saints have held a special Brooksy’s Round.

Ben started playing footy for the Saints in 2013 as a junior before stepping up to the senior ranks in 2018.

He died on Australia Day in 2022, aged just 22, after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma.

After Saturday’s game, Ben Brooks Medals were presented  to the players displaying Ben’s “courage, determination and never-give-up attitude”.

The recipients this year were Jack Mines (Saints) and Steven Grogan (Redbacks).

They were presented with their medals by Ben’s sister Emily and father Darryl.

Saints’ goal kickers on Saturday included Fletcher Brown (4), Kieran Askin (2), Callum Coe, Jack Mines and Matthew Patroni.

This weekend the Saints men will be heading off to Rockville Park in Toowoomba to face ladder leaders Coolaroo.

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The Saints’ next home game at Lyle Vidler Oval – their second last for the season – will be on July 20 when the club will be honouring the South Burnett’s AFL roots by wearing the old Kingaroy Bulldogs strip.

Former Bulldogs and Kingaroy Jets players have been invited to return for the annual Heritage Day.

All three Saints’ teams – men, women and U14s – will be taking to the field against Toowoomba Tigers’ sides.

Bulldog Spirit Medals will be awarded: the Ron Bird Medal (male player) and Kassulke Family Medal (female player).

The day will also be a fundraiser for the club’s project to build a change room at Lyle Vidler.

Saints are currently running a “Buy A Brick” fundraiser for the project with donations of $100 and above to be recognised on an Honour / Recognition Board.

Steven Grogan (Redbacks), left, and Jack Mines (Saints), right, were presented with their medals and certificates after the game by Emily and Darryl Brooks (Photo: South Burnett Saints)
Shannon Larsen with Ben’s father, Darryl Brooks … Darryl spoke to the players at the start of the match
Ben’s jersey and photographs from his footy career were on the memorial table, along with lit candles
Another one pointer makes it past the Redbacks to add to the Saints’ score
One of the two goals kicked by Saints’ veteran Kieran Askin
Light rain began to fall as the third quarter began in murky conditions
They all actually like one another … but passions can sometimes boil over on the field
A redbacks’ tackle stops a Saints’ goal attempt in front of the posts
More action from the South Burnett Saints v Warwick Redbacks match on Saturday in Kingaroy
Friends, relatives and former team-mates of Ben Brooks watched the game from the shelter of the Cricket Clubhouse verandah


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