The tragic death of their star halfback has devastated a local rugby league club.
East Campbelltown Eagles are mourning the passing of Wayde Dunley, 28, who died after falling more than 15 metres down a cliff in the Royal National Park.
Police said Dunley and some friends were climbing down the cliff to go fishing at Big Marley Beach, Bundeena when the accident occurred.
Dunley was airlifted to St George Hospital in a critical condition, but despite desperate attempts to save his life he passed away in hospital this morning.
Police will now prepare a report for the Coroner.
Campbelltown born and bred, Wayde Dunley recently moved to Woonona with his wife Chelsea and baby Koa.
“It is with great sadness that we would like to inform the supporters, players, officials, sponsors, family and friends of the East Campbelltown Eagles RLFC of the passing of Wayde Dunley,’’ the club said this morning in a statement issued by life member Daniel Draper.
The club said that Wayde Dunley was a talented Eagles junior who went on to play representative rugby league for the Western Suburbs Magpies and make the top 25 squad for the Wests Tigers in the NRL.
After being selected as 18th man in almost an entire season in 2009 and not getting on the field once for the Wests Tigers, a disenchanted Wayde Dunley returned home to the Eagles.
“Wests Tigers are deeply saddened today by the news of the passing of former Holden Cup and NRL squad member Wayde Dunley,” the club said in a media statement.
“Wayde first played for our club in 2009 where he instantly made close friends,’’ the Eagles club said in their statement.
“Wayde was part of our 2012 undefeated Group 6 premiership winning team and the CRL Clayton’s Cup winners.
“He captained our 2014 Sydney Shield premiership winning team and steered our team to victory in the 2016 Sydney Shield premiership.
“He will always be part of the East Campbelltown family, always in our memories and forever in our hearts.
“We send our deepest condolences to the Dunley family – our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
“R.I.P. Wayde Dunley.”
♦ The club will hold a benefit night Friday, July 21 at Tabcorp Menangle Park with proceeds to help Dunley’s wife and child.