This Macksville lad's funeral on this Saturday

BIG-HEARTED, FUN-LOVING: Benny Bop (Suckling) with his beloved dog Bundy

BIG-HEARTED, FUN-LOVING: Benny Bop (Suckling) with his beloved dog Bundy

Ben Suckling was better known to his friends as Benny Bop ... and what a lot of friends this fun-loving 23-year-old had.

Macksville born and bred, Benny liked the spotlight and enjoyed clowning it up - as a young fella, there is a family story of him doing just that with the clowns when the circus came to town.

A keen rugby league player, Ben played with the Bowra Tigers and the Macksville Sea Eagles (Under 18s), as well as in Aboriginal knock-out competitions around the state and with the local Wall St Warriors, with many a game played out in the street at home.

Fishing was another great passion.

Ben was a mad fisherman and he'd head out anytime, anywhere, ocean or sea, with his rod, often coming home with a good feed of fish. But he never kept the really big ones - he threw them back for breeding.

Fishing was a pass time he shared with his older brothers Scott and Jacob.

School, on the other hand, was not Ben's thing. He struggled with hearing loss and chose to leave early.

It took him a while thereafter to find his way. He headed to Sydney for a bit but soon came home and in recent years settled into a spray painting apprenticeship with Express Coaches, which he loved.

He had in fact just finished, having commuted to Newcastle monthly for the duration ... he was ready to don his overalls as a fully- trained tradesman.

His mother, Lesa Cryer, said Ben had really committed himself to TAFE, doing it for his dad, who he had lost some years ago.

Time and again family and friends talk about Ben's big-hearted nature and how if you were his friend, you were a friend for life.

"He would do anything for anybody - he had a heart of gold, he just gave and gave," Lesa said.

"As a little boy, he was always out helping people to earn a bit of pocket money and they'd often get him back."

In his short time he did a lot and made a lot of friends, of all ages, including rapper Raytes, who along with Kerser, were his music idols ... rap music being another of his enthusiasms.

Ben died in a motorcycle accident on Wallace St, Macksville on October 29.

He was the youngest of three boys and leaves behind another six step-siblings.

Greatly loved, he will be missed by many - a young man, whose life was just too short.

His funeral will be this Saturday, November 16, 10am, at the Salvation Army on River St, Macksville.