Leanne Manwaring, Allison Jones and Paul Roche will watch this weekend’s memorial games in honour of their children whose lives were lost.
Leanne Manwaring, Allison Jones and Paul Roche will watch this weekend’s memorial games in honour of their children whose lives were lost. Georja Ryan

Mates of battle

OFF the field, Daniel May and Ian Jones were the best of friends.

When they pulled on their respective Collegians and Suburbs jerseys, they were as competitive as anyone else on the field.

Their spirit and mateship will be remembered tomorrow in the 11th May-Jones U/16 Memorial game.

Daniel's mother, Leanne Manwaring, remembers the fateful night in November 2001 when their lives were cut short.

"They were coming home late after the Toogoolawah Rodeo. They were utterly exhausted after competing in the event, and they took rests along the way," Leanne said.

"When the driver of the vehicle saw the Caltex sign just outside of Warwick, he thought 'I'm home' and fell asleep.

"They ran off the road and into a tree. Dan was in the passenger seat and took the full impact of the collision, killing him instantly."

Ian died a short time later. They were 18.

"Beau Radnidge was in the back seat of the car and ended up being airlifted to hospital," she said.

This year's fixture is hosted by Suburbs.

Usually played in February, the May-Jones Memorial game was shifted this year.

"It is great personally to see the kids play in their memory," Leanne said.

Before last year's game, Leanne read a poem written by her daughter Rachael.

"It was a short poem, but it summed up how I felt perfectly," she said.

Next year's game will hold extra significance, with Dan's brother Josh to be involved.

"My youngest son - Josh - plays for Collegians and will play in the memorial game next year," she said. "He's been looking forward to it for a while."

The tree no longer stands where it was that night, replaced by crosses marking the spot where the pair lost their lives. Their memories live on forever.



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