Best mate and school pay tribute to dad of triplets
As tributes pour in for Queensland cricket coach Matt Conwell, who was soon to be a father of triplets but died in tragic circumstances, one of his best mates remembers the gentle man with the "Colgate smile".
Clint Freebody, a groomsmen at Mr Conwell's wedding to Ashleigh Fallon in 2017, said he was "numb" after the passing of "Cozzy" on September 2.
"We were mates since Grade 4 and played soccer and cricket together for many sporting teams and whenever I was in Brisbane we'd catch up for backyard cricket," said Mr Freebody, 32, who is in the air force and based in Sale, Victoria.
Friends for all their years at Ormiston College in Redland City, Mr Freebody said Mr Conwell, a school prefect and gifted sportsman, "genuinely didn't have an enemy, not one".
"He was patient, kind, caring and put others first, before even considering himself.
"He was allergic to peanuts, loved strawberry thick shakes, and had an infamous Colgate smile.
"The last time I saw him was on his birthday, March 22, though we talked often, including about how sh*t COVID was."
Last Wednesday morning Mr Conwell was hit by a four-wheel-drive at Carindale in what police have called a "very sad incident" and his sister-in-law described as "a snap decision" and "totally out of character".
Ormiston College headmaster Brett Webster said the school and senior class of 2005 were "deeply saddened" by Mr Conwell's passing.
"As a close-knit school community, many of our staff and alumni have fond memories of Matthew's journey through the college," Mr Webster told The Courier-Mail.
"He was a college prefect, leading the 2005 sporting committee.
"Not surprisingly, he was an avid sportsman, playing in first grade cricket teams in both Year 11 and Year 12 and awarded 'most valuable player' in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
"In recent years, as a testament to his kind and generous nature, Matthew returned to the college to inspire current students by sharing his career journey in sport and game development with Queensland Cricket."
A GoFundMe page set up by Mrs Conwell's best friend Alex Nesevski to help support the young family has received overwhelming support.
Within 24 hours of 3pm Monday, September 8, it had raised more than $100,000 from more than 2600 donors, including former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, who also coached the Brisbane Roar, for whom Mr Conwell was a strength and conditioning coach before joining Queensland Cricket.
By 3pm Tuesday, the tally stood at $180,000.
Initial investigations by the Forensic Crash Unit indicate Mr Conwell's death was a self-harm incident. A report is being prepared by the coroner.
Originally published as Best mate, school pay tribute to Matt Conwell