The Canberra Raiders will wear black armbands for this afternoons NRL and NYC matches, to pay tribute to Lui Polemini and Vinnie Downes.

The Raiders NRL team will wear the armbands in memory of Lui Polemini from Gundagai, who passed away this week following injuries sustained on the field in the Gundagai Tigers under 16’s match last weekend.

The Raiders NYC team will wear armbands in memory of their long time massage therapist Vinnie Downes, who passed away this week following illness.

Raiders Media Manager and native of Gundagai Ben Pollack, said the club had strong ties to the Riverina including Gundagai and said the Raiders were thinking of the Polemini family during this tough time.

“The Raiders would like to extend their deepest condolences to the Polemini family and the Gundagai Tigers community in what is a very tough time for them all,” Pollack said. “The Gundagai Tigers are a very proud club and I know they are rallying behind the family following Lui’s passing.

“It’s a tragedy when any young player passes away and the Raiders and rugby league communities want the Polemini and Gundagai Tigers families to know that they are thinking of them during this tough time.”

The Raiders NYC team will also wear armbands to remember Vinnie Downes, who was a valued member of the Raiders staff and a wonderful clubman.

“Vinnie was always at training with a smile on his face and nothing was too hard for him,” said Raiders football manager John Bonasera. “He was a valued member of the Raiders family and the club wants to express their condolences to his family, he will be missed.”

The Raiders would also like to extend their condolonces to the family of former first grade player Matt Corkery and his family during a very tough time in their lives.