Second Digicel Cup player passes on


ONLY days after the death of Port Moresby Vipers forward Steward Nomi from meningitis, a second Digicel Cup player has died.
Gulf Isapea forward Tabal Henry, pictured, died in the early hours of Wednesday at the Port Moresby General Hospital after a short illness.
Henry, 30, was from Kamamo village, Lufa, Eastern Highlands.
His biological father Henry Namakato and adoptive parent Robert Soya said Henry started feeling sick after their Digicel Cup finals match against the Agmark Gurias in Lae at the end of August.
Namakato confirmed his son’s body was at the hospital morgue as funeral arrangements were being finalised while family members, friends and teammates paid their respects.
Soya said the body would be repatriated to the Lufa  for burial.
Tabal is second in the family of four sons. The Isapea second-rower grew up in Port Moresby and was involved in the sport from his teens.
He played in the Port Moresby rugby union competition switching between codes.
Isapea chairman Jacob Ivaroa was shocked at the news of Henry’s passing saying it was hard to believe they had lost a great servant of the game and a loyal club man.
“We are still in shock,” Ivaroa said.
“Tabal was one reliable, hard-working player who always gave everything he had.
“He was well-liked and respected in the team as one of our mature players.
“He contributed to helping the Isapea become a competitive force and we finally made a finals series this year as well,” Ivaroa said of Henry who joined the franchise last year.
Meanwhile, Magani coach Chris Enara, Henry was part of their junior division and made his way up to become a first grade player and then earned a call-up to the Isapea two years ago.
“The club players, management and supporters were shocked to learn about Tabal’s death.
He was a senior player and a good leader, always humble and let his actions do the talking.
He had a big heart and  was appreciated by everyone here, we’re going to miss him,” Enara said.

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