Shocked friends recall a legend
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Shocked friends recall a legend

The alleged murder of an 89-year-old man in one of Canberra's most exclusive suburbs has shocked friends who recall him as an ''incredibly good natured gentleman'' and a Queanbeyan cricket legend.

Terrence John Freebody, a war veteran who was from a ''well-to-do'' family full of ''very good sportspeople'', was named a life member of the Queanbeyan Cricket Club just over two weeks ago during the club's 150th year.

At the annual general meeting, Mr Freebody was recognised as a ''premiership-winning captain, Prime Minister's XI player and champion bloke''.

The club's president Peter Solway said Mr Freebody was honoured by the award.

''He's from an old and well-known family in Queanbeyan and Canberra,'' Mr Solway said.

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''His son called us this morning to let us know what happened. When my secretary said there was some bad news I thought he might have passed away … I think he's been unwell … [his death] is a huge shock. It's devastating.''

Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall said people were shocked by Mr Freebody's death.

''He made an outstanding and long-lasting contribution to Queanbeyan cricket and the community,'' Mr Overall said. ''I'm just shocked.''

Lifetime member of the cricket club and Mr Freebody's former teammate in the early 1960s, Colvin Berry, said Mr Freebody was one of the most inspiring cricketers he had ever played with.

He also said he was an ''incredibly nice fella'' and a ''good natured'' person.

''I was only just speaking to him a couple of weeks ago,'' Mr Berry said.

''He was apparently unwell but hid that very well - he was in quite good spirits.

''I can't comprehend how something like this could happen. It was quite a shock.''

In a nomination for life membership, Mr Freebody was recognised as a fine top order batsman, with statistics which ranked him in the top few in Canberra's cricket history.

He was the captain of ACT's cricket team for many years in the 1950s and he also played in the first-ever Prime Minister's XI, where he had many discussions with the then Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, which he ''remembered and treasured''.

''He played with distinction for the ACT and despite World War II, when he served in the Australian Army, taking a number of his best years, his records are nothing short of phenomenal,'' the nomination read.

''Following business opportunities, Terry moved to the ACT, where he still lives with his wife Lennis in Red Hill.

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''He still calls the Queanbeyan Cricket Club his team and has followed their progress.''

The cricket club's home ground, Freebody Oval, is named after Mr Freebody's father William, who was the mayor of Queanbeyan in the 1920s.