Family and friends of the late Hayden Atkinson-Thring have spoken to the Courier about the 20-year-old Cobram man following his death last week.RIAHN SMITH January 9, 2014 4:00am
‘‘I can’t believe he’s gone. It’s your absolute worst nightmare for your kids to go before you.’’
These are the words of grieving parent Steven Thring, whose only son, Hayden Atkinson-Thring, 20, died last week in a violent altercation outside a Cobram service station.
‘‘He’d only been home just over a week — you worry about kids in the city, like Wollongong, but when they come home, you think they’re safe,’’ Mr Thring said.
‘‘We’re so proud of him, of what he’s done, how he’d grown up so quickly.
‘‘He didn’t have an enemy in the world, he was just a great kid and just so loving.’’
Mr Thring said his son’s death would be felt particularly hard by his sister Kara-Lee and girlfriend Kelli Berdini.
‘‘They were the closest brother and sister you’d ever get,’’ he said.
‘‘He liked a good joke and a laugh, and especially being with Kelli.
‘‘They actually spoke about getting married and he was just so looking forward to travelling with her. It’s hurt us all so much but Kelli found her soul mate and now he’s gone.’’
Friend James Brewster said losing his mate was like losing a brother.
The friends were two of a group of about 10 young men who have created a makeshift family for themselves.
‘‘It sounds cliched but he loved life, he really did,’’ Mr Brewster said.
‘‘He was a real country boy who loved fishing, camping, he was always the one who got us up to do something.
‘‘He was just always there, we’ve grown up together, and he should be growing up with us.’’
Tobias Townley and Mr Atkinson-Thring had been friends for about six years, since Mr Townley moved back to Cobram from Queensland as a teenager.
‘‘The day I met him was the day I moved back and we’ve been best friends ever since. He was more than a best friend, he was a brother,’’ Mr Townley said.
‘‘He was just confident in everything he did. He’d only just got home and was so happy. You could feel his happiness, he was so excited about his plans with Kelli.
‘‘He was very bubbly. Whenever I was down and upset, even if he had his own problems, you could hang with him for 10 minutes and everything went out the window.
‘‘He has left the biggest mark on my life. I felt more complete when I was with him.’’
A man suffered serious burns to his face and chest after a butane can explosion caused a fire at a Shepparton house yesterday.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Murray Shire councillor Geoff Mackenzie apologised to councillors at a Murray Shire Council meeting on Tuesday about any offence caused by comments he made in November.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Heathcote's Union Hotel is continuing its record of fundraising for the Royal Children's Hospital.
Moira Shire Council's new chief executive says he will 'establish a standard of behaviour' as part of an overhaul of the organisation.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Benalla mother Denise Cooke will hold an Anzac Day tennis event to raise funds for the Cambodian orphanages from where she adopted her children.
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