A Gofundme page in honour of East Fremantle father Charles McCarthy has attracted heartfelt tributes and more than $45,000 in donations from across Australia and his native Ireland.
The page was created by Alan Ahern who wrote that Mr McCarthy was “one-of-a-kind” and that the lives of wife Nicole and young children Clara and Niall had “changed forever” following his death two days before Christmas.
Mr Ahern said his mate’s “quick laugh lit up every room” and that he adored, and was adored by, his children.
“A wonderful husband, an incredible father, and the most loyal friend you could ask for,” Mr Ahern’s tribute reads.
“He is irreplaceable and will be forever missed.”
The fundraising page smashed its $30,000 goal in fewer than 24 hours with more than 440 people donating and sharing their memories of the 32-year-old Irish migrant, who is originally from Cork.
In messages from around the globe Mr McCarthy was described as a kind and loving soul taken far too young.
“You were a true gent. Life is so cruel. May you rest in peace Charlie,” wrote Yvonne Foley.
Mr McCarthy was allegedly struck in the head with “an object” by fisherman Andrew Doan while walking along Riverside Drive with his wife and a friend in the early hours of December 23.
He spent three days at Royal Perth Hospital, brother Daniel and sister Siobhan travelling to Perth to be by his side when the life support machine was switched off on Boxing Day.
Mr Doan maintains his innocence and his lawyer has indicated in court the 34-year-old would argue he had been “charged” by Mr McCarthy and that his actions on the night were in self-defence.
Back in Mr McCarthy’s hometown, the Aghada Gaelic Athletic Association has opened a book of condolences for its former player.
Club secretary Darren Lee said on Facebook those associated with the club were deeply saddened by Mr McCarthy’s death.
“Charlie joined us in his teenage years and had a positive impact with his energy, dedication and attitude throughout his time in the club,” said Mr Lee.
“On moving to Australia, he continued to wear the club colours with pride and celebrated club successes like so many at home and abroad.
“What is clear from listening to those who knew him best was that the dedication and energy we experienced on the pitch, was small compared to his dedication for his wife Nicole and their children Ciara and Niall.”
Money raised by the GoFundMe page will be used to cover unexpected expenses, with the remainder set aside in a trust for Mr McCarthy’s children.
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/CharlieMcCarthyFamilyTrust