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Townsville grandstand officially named after Andrew Symonds

The grandstand at Riverway Stadium in Townsville has been officially named after Andrew Symonds.

The Andrew ‘Roy’ Symonds Grandstand was unveiled by his children, Chloe and Will, and his mother Barbara on Friday.

“It just feels like he’s going to be loved from every direction, like he’s going to be loved from everyone,” Chloe, 10, told reporters. “I know he didn’t like anything big, and it’s not a big grandstand…so he would probably have loved that.”

Symonds, who played 238 times for Australia and was a huge figure in Queensland cricket, died aged 46 in a car accident near Townsville on March 14.

When Australia played Zimbabwe in Townsville last month there were tributes paid to Symonds but the process to name the stand hadn’t quite been completed.

At the innings interval of the opening match in the series his family, along with best friend Jimmy Maher, walked to the pitch where they laid his baggy green, bat, his Akubra hat, a fishing rod and a crab pot at the wickets. Symonds two dogs, Buzz and Woody, were also part of the occasion.

On Friday, Symonds’ mother Barbara said: “He was just my boy who loved playing cricket. But to know that he was loved so much by so many people, it makes you very proud.”

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said that Symonds had a huge impact on the local community.

“Roy was a proud North Queenslander who gave back to the Townsville community through charity and his involvement in junior sports,” she told the Townsville Bulletin. “He was also a great friend to many people and would light up any room he was in. Roy’s passing has been a tragic loss to our community, and I know his absence is felt far and wide across the country.”

The temporary sign will be replaced by a permanent version after further community consultation.

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