The grieving father of murdered Orange man Ricky Eggins has described his son as a "perfect example of a young man."
Gordon Eggins said the family was devastated at the loss of the young man who was due to celebrate his 21st birthday in a month.
Ricky died early on Saturday morning at a house in Orange.
Mr Eggins said his son had attended James Sheahan Catholic High School, played rugby for Orange City and was working as a crane operator at the Cadia mine.
"He absolutely loved his job," he said.
"He would help anyone or fix anything. He was our go-to man in the family. He was very quiet, inwardly strong. I couldn't have been prouder of him.
"It is devastating. We'll never get over it. We always have and always will love him. We are a close-knit family.
He would help anyone or fix anything. He was our go-to man in the family.Gordon Eggins, father of Ricky Eggins
"The thing we are most proud of is him as a man."
Mr Eggins said his son had many interests.
"He has always been practical and sensible," he said.
"He loved cars, car shows, racing."
And he enjoyed building with Lego. "The house is surrounded by Lego pieces he built," he said.
Mr Eggins said Ricky played prop for Orange City. He said Ricky was part of the Colts team that played in the 2017 Central West rugby grand final.
Ricky did not play rugby last year as it conflicted with his work commitments.
Mr Eggins said Ricky had also played representative football for Central West as well as participating in athletics carnivals.
"He was a good sportsman throughout all his school years. He still holds the [open] school discus record at James Sheahan," he said.
Mr Eggins said Ricky was a strong athlete in other events, including the javelin.
We always have and always will love him. We are a close-knit family.Gordon Eggins, father
He started in little athletics when was about nine and had continued to be involved in athletics at school.
Ricky completed his HSC at James Sheahan in 2016 and took on work including becoming a pizza delivery driver before gaining work at the Cadia mine.
Mr Eggins said he, wife Wendy and their other children, Mikey and Renee, had moved to Orange in 2004 from Sydney.
He said when news of Ricky's death spread his former school mates had travelled from around the country to Orange to visit the family to express their condolences.
While he could not talk about the circumstances of Ricky's death Mr Eggins said finding out about his death had been tough.
"It is the 3 o'clock in the morning call you dread," he said.
Mr Eggins said Ricky had lived at home until recently when he moved out to live with his girlfriend.
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