MELBOURNE Storm has offered its deepest and sincerest condolences to the family of Sunshine Coast Falcons player James Ackerman who passed away today.
James, 25, was seriously injured early in the first half of the Falcon's Intrust Super Cup match against Norths Devils at Bishop Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons are one of Storm's Queensland based feeder teams and had three players involved in Saturday's match, Young Tonumaipea, Travis Robinson and Suliasi Vunivalu.
Melbourne Storm CEO Mark Evans said, "We pass on our condolences to James' family, we are deeply saddened by the news of his passing.
"We send our prayers and thoughts to James' wife Saraa, his young children Olliver and Milly, his parents Sonya and Michael and brothers Andrew and Thomas.
"As our feeder club, we have a strong relationship with the Falcons and Melbourne Storm will provide whatever support the players and staff require, the welfare of his family and teammates is in the forefront of our minds during this extremely difficult time."
Storm has sent its player welfare manager to the Sunshine Coast to provide support to the family, club and players.
Member for Fisher Mal Brough has also extended his condolences to the Ackerman family.
The local politician sent the following statement to the media:
"It is with great sadness that I acknowledge the passing of James Ackerman earlier today.
James was a young man in the prime of his life playing the sport he loved.
James was a big part of the Sunshine Coast rugby league family and was respected for his qualities on and off the field.
I pass on my sincere condolences to his family, many friends and team mates.
The Sunshine Coast is a generous community and I am sure that we will all rally behind his family and support them through this tragic time.
Vale James. You will be remembered as a stand out bloke who loved his footy and his family."