TRIBUTES have flowed after the death of 36-year-old Naracoorte father of two Peter Featherston last week.
Shortly before noon last Thursday, Mr Featherston was struck down by a car and killed while riding his bicycle on the Wimmera Hwy east of Naracoorte.
The driver of the car, a 22-year-old Victorian man, was not physically injured in the crash.
Friends and relatives of Mr Featherston - a prominent footballer for Padthaway - have taken to social media to express their sadness.
"Such a sad day. RIP mate. A gentle giant both on the field and in life" one comment on Mr Featherston's Facebook read.
"Can't believe this has happened, RIP Feathers! champion dad, champion fella, champion footballer, champion mate," another said.
Padthaway Football Club president Phil Brown said the loss of Featherston, who was equal runner-up in the Lions' 2013 best and fairest, was being felt throughout the Padthaway community.
"Everyone's struggling with it a bit at the moment," he said.
"It's tough on the club, tough on the players...he was such a lovely man, such a great man.
"He'll be sadly missed by all."
He'll be sadly missed by all.
Mr Featherston had played for the Lions for the past two and a half seasons since moving from Mildura, where his young twin daughters are still based, making a "big impression" at the club.
Mr Brown said "Feathers" was keen to play for a smaller club like Padthaway - that was just the kind of guy he was.
"He wasn't about himself," he said.
After growing up in the town of Beeac, Victoria, Mr Featherston played under 18 football at elite level with the Geelong Falcons alongside future AFL stars such as former Fitzroy and Port Adelaide player Matthew Primus in the TAC Cup - where he was named in the 1995 team of the year.
However, Mr Featherston turned his back on the AFL and went on to win premierships with Victorian clubs Irrawara-Beeac and Apollo Bay as part of a long and illustrious football career, despite losing all the toes on one foot in a work accident at age 20.
He won two Colac and District Football League senior best and fairest medals, and about 10 club best and fairests during his years at Irrewarra-Beeac, Apollo Bay and the Imperial Football Club in Mildura.
Despite Mr Featherston's size - he was one of the KNTFL's premier ruckmen - the Padthaway president described him as a gentle giant.
"He was six foot five, a very powerful man, a very imposing man on the football field," Mr Brown said.
"But he was the sort of bloke who would bowl someone over on the field and then bend down and pick him up to make sure he was okay."
Padthaway travelled to Keith to play on the weekend, where a minute's silence was observed before the league match where both clubs and communities came together to show respect for Mr Featherston.
Mr Brown said the club was still deciding on a way to honour Mr Featherston for the rest of the season.