Bobby Palmer will forever be remembered as a Devil – a Shortland Devil, that is.
The 54-year-old rugby league lover was killed in tragic circumstances, while walking his daughter’s dog, following an altercation with a 24-year-old man on Saturday night.
Police allege shortly after 8pm on Saturday 12 December, a young male entered a service station on Sandgate Road, Shortland, armed with a knife.
It is believed he threatened an employee before running to a second service station, also on the same street.
There, he became involved in an argument with Mr Palmer.
Witnesses told officers the dispute became physical with the older man sustaining a stab wound to his abdomen.
Heartbreakingly, the father-of-two died at the scene.
Newcastle City Police District then attended a home on Sandgate Road where they arrested the 24-year-old, after he was tasered, and later charged him with murder.
Today, the community is still coming to terms with the local identity’s untimely death.
“Bobby was taken from us too soon – and will be terribly missed,” a spokesperson for the Shortland Devils Rugby League Football Club said.
“Our thoughts first and foremost are with his family; and we extend our deepest sympathies to them.
“Bobby was ‘Shorty’ through and through, from playing for the club in his younger days.
“And, later, as a long-term member of the Devils.
“He was an integral part of the organisation.
“His service continued right up until this year where he regularly marked the lines at Tuxford Park.
“He was even known to mow the field by push mower after the recent theft of the club’s ride-on.
“Everyone in Shortland is certainly mourning the loss of his short life [today].”
The Shortland Hotel also posted a moving tribute on Instagram.
“Everyone here at The Shorty are deeply saddened at the loss of one of our favourite larrikins Bobby,” it said.
“His witty sense of humour will be missed by both the staff and our patrons.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”