A Hunter Valley bus crash survivor who lost his daughter and wife in the tragedy has given a tearful speech to his football club friends to denounce the void left in his life by their absence.
Graham “Banger” McBride lost his wife, Nadene “Nads” McBride, and daughter Kyah in June when they were among ten wedding guests killed in a bus crash that also left Mr. McBride among the injured to the hospital.
All three were heavily involved with the Singleton Roosters Aussie Rules club and this week an emotional Mr McBride attended an awards ceremony, applauding his daughter as she was nominated and accepting a posthumous award for his wife recognizing his work for the club.
“I always wait for her to come home late from practice for dinner. Every night I’m just waiting for her to walk through the door, just to have our little football talks,” Mr McBride said through tears.
“They may not be here in body, but she is certainly here in their soul and will always be a part of our footy community.
“I am so proud to tell you that Nads has since been chosen as the state ambassador for NSW FLWC,” he said, before bowing his head and adding: “I wish you were here “.
He then clapped with his hand still in a splint as his daughter Kyah was named along with fellow Hunter Valley bus crash victims Lynan Scott and Tori Cowburn nominated for the Black Diamond Cup women’s football.
Graham ‘Banger’ McBride applauds with a heavily clasped hand as his daughter Kyah McBride is named among three Singleton Roosters players, all victims of an accident, as nominees for an award
Graham McBride, his daughter Kyah (left) and wife Nadene (right) were all heavily involved with the Singleton Roosters Club, as was Kyah’s partner Kane Symons, who also died in the accident.
Mr McBride was attending the AFL Hunter Central Coast 2023 Elliott Davey Medal presentation evening where Nadene McBride was posthumously recognized as a 2023 NSW/ACT AFLW Community Ambassador “for her incredible contribution to the game Australian at his club and in the Hunter Central Coast region.
The three family members were all involved with the club, which tragically lost seven players in the bus crash. Kyah was a star player and Nadene her coach.
Although seriously injured, Graham McBride was among 25 people who survived the accident after the wedding of Singleton couple Madeleine Edsell and Mitchell Gaffney at the Wandin Estate winery.
Mrs Cowburn, who was captain of the Roosterettes women’s team, Mrs Scott and young doctor Bec Mullen, who was to be married just weeks after the accident, also died in the crash.
Of the men’s team, Andrew Scott (Lynan Scott’s husband) and Kane Symons (Kyah’s partner) died in the accident.
Four of the Singleton Roosters players who died in the bush crash were (circled left to right) Nadene McBride, Tori Cowburn, Bec Mullen and (front, right) Kyah McBride.
Ten died in the bus crash when it rolled on Wine Country Drive, near the Hunter Expressway off-ramp, around 11:30 p.m. on June 11, while carrying guests from a wedding at the Wandin Valley winery.
The evening recognized Hunter Singleton Football Club with a first Spirit of AFL award.
President Kim Sweetnam said, “Our hearts bled for them and they had to withstand adversity…that none of us could even begin to recognize.
“We absolutely tip our hats off to these people who have been put in a position that no one expected or imagined they would find themselves in. We honor you, we salute you.”
Just four years ago, in 2019, Andrew Scott received the most votes to win the prestigious Elliott Davey Medal.
This week, Mr Scott and Nadene McBride were commemorated with inaugural medals in their names, respectively, for the men’s and women’s ‘best players on the field’ awarded here. at the annual representative senior carnival.
On stage to thank the creation of the Nadene McBride Memorial Medal, Graham McBride also thanked the Singleton club for their deep support of him and others during what was “a crazy moment, an uncontrollable spectacle”.
Graham McBride with Alex Tigani at the July funeral of his two ‘daughters’, wife Nadene and daughter Kyah, who tragically died in the Hunter Valley bush crash in June
Screening at the awards night recognizing the nominations of three accident victims, Tori Cowburn, Kyah McBride and Lynan Scott
At the joint funeral of his wife and daughter in July, Banger McBride said of his own wounds that “every step I take on this healing journey is to honor my daughters.”
“Nads and Kyah shared a smile that would light up the room. Nadene was my soulmate…she had so much love to give and gave it to anyone who needed it.
“Nads and Kyah have scored so many goals in their lives, now it’s time to score goals for Nads and Kyah.”
A NSW government inquiry into the Hunter Valley bus crash was on Thursday due to release the first of a three-part report recommending bus safety reform, including changes to regulations relating to wearing seat belts and school bus speed limits.
The driver of the crashed bus, Brett Button, faces a series of charges related to the crash, including multiple counts of dangerous driving causing death.