CHRIS Rothnie had a kind heart, a fierce competitive streak on the footy field, and a passion for coffee, but on Wednesday, it was tragically taken away when the 23-year-old took his own life.
Now the Rothnie family has thanked the community for its generosity after a GoFundMe appeal, started by a member of the Orange Tigers community, raised $16,831 from 272 donations to put towards his funeral.
The six Rothnie siblings - Steven, Michael, Chris, Sam, Luke and Hayley - moved to Orange in the mid-2000s after their parents split up, and stayed even after their mother moved back.
In the time since, Michael and Chris joined Orange Tigers and won three first grade premierships together.
[Suicide] is a pressing issue, especially with young men.Michael Rothnie, older brother
"Coming from Perth, [Aussie rules] was the game," Michael said.
"I played in the midfield and he played more fullback or halfback."
Working at Scrumptious on Summer, the Village Bakehouse and Bill's Beans, Chris was never far from a coffee machine.
"I think he liked seeing the smiles on people's faces when they got their fix," Michael said.
"I've only found out in the last couple of days the effect he had on a lot of people in a great way - I wish he could see other people supported him the way he did them."
Michael said his brother's death was a shock.
"[Suicide] is a pressing issue, especially with young men - some people speak out and some people want to keep quiet because they think people will view them as being weak and vulnerable, but there's definitely help out there," he said.
"It's happening too often I think."
The money raised will go towards bringing Chris's parents, Paul and Lynne, from Western Australia for a funeral in Orange, in addition to a memorial service in WA - leftover funds will be donated to a charity for suicide prevention.
Michael said there were "no words" for the gratitude his family felt.
If this story raises any concerns, call Lifeline 13 11 14, MensLine 1300 789 978 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.
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