A loving dad and sporting icon around Orange, Michael Anthony "Tony" Kelly's death has been felt far and wide.
Son Vincent said his dad - who died on October 1 aged 96 - always made sure his kids were cared for.
"Mum spent a lot of time looking after the kids and dad worked two jobs to get us through school," the son said.
"He always had time to take us to do the things we enjoyed doing. He was a really great family man. He gave us all the opportunity he could to have a good education and all the family ended up with post-grad qualifications."
In his teen years, Mr Kelly attended St Stanislaus College in Bathurst. He obtained his Intermediate Certificate before returning to Lilydale after WWII broke out.
During the war years he helped run the farm in the absence of his older brothers who had all enlisted in the Army.
In the late 1940's he met Mary Clark of Cudal and would would often ride his push bike over the gravel roads from Manildra to Cudal to visit her as their relationship grew.
In November 1950, they married and moved to Orange.
In 1957, Mr Kelly commenced work with Ophir County Council as a cashier/clerk. He stayed with the council until he retired in 1986.
Mr Kelly also shone on the sporting field, mostly for Orange CYMS.
A rugby league lover, he played winger or centre in the 1949, 1952, 1953 and 1954 CYMS premiership winning sides, the latter of which took place the day before Vincent was born. The undefeated 1954 side also won the Claytons Cup.
Not only that, but he played a pivotal role for CYMS' cricket sides over the years.
His medium pace bowling saw him claim the best bowling averages for nine seasons.
As a batter, he claimed the highest first grade averages in three of the seasons he played and he continued to play the sport until 1969 when he was 45 years old.
At CYMS' 50th Anniversary celebrations in 1995, Mr Kelly was included in their Cricket Team of the Century.
"I can remember after he'd given up football, he packed a few of the boys onto his pushbike and took us down to Wade Park, just to catch a few minutes of the footy," son Vincent added.
"He always had time on the weekends to take the kids out."
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