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South West Rocks brawl which left surfer Chris Davidson dead and footy coach Grant Coleman charged

The brother of NSW Waratahs’ coach Darren Coleman who has been arrested over an alleged fatal one-punch attack of a former pro surfer has been revealed to be a local football star – as he is slapped with another charge.

Grant Coleman (pictured), 42, has been charged with assault causing death 

Grant ‘Grub’ Coleman, 42, has been charged with assault causing death after he allegedly king hit Chris Davidson, 45, outside South West Rocks Country Club, on the NSW Mid-North Coast, just after 11pm on Saturday. 

Mr Davidson allegedly fell to the ground and hit his head, knocking him unconscious. He was treated at the scene and taken to Kempsey Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after. 

Coleman, who was arrested about half an hour after the alleged assault, faced Kempsey Local Court on Monday, where no bail application was made and it was formally refused. 

He has also been hit with a new charge of choking the victim. 

Coleman and Mr Davidson, who represented Australia in Surfing, were both locals who were well known in the area as sporting greats.

Chris Davidson (left) is pictured with a friend. Mr Davidson has died after an alleged one-punch attack outside a pub on Saturday night

Chris Davidson (left) is pictured with a friend. Mr Davidson has died after an alleged one-punch attack outside a pub on Saturday night

Coleman (pictured) was a local football star, having grown up in a sporting family with his three brothers, whom include NSW Waratahs coach Darren Coleman

Coleman (pictured) was a local football star, having grown up in a sporting family with his three brothers, whom include NSW Waratahs coach Darren Coleman

The accused, whose late father Greg ‘Whale’ Coleman was a former Penrith Panthers player, grew up in South West Rocks after their dad picked up a position as a player-coach at the then-Kempsey Cowboys around 1984.

Along with his three brothers, Darren, Scott, and Matt, Coleman was heavily involved in football and has been a longstanding member of the local sporting community. 

In his teenage years, the talented sportsman represented the North Coast on the under 18 division during their 1997 victory at the Ray Maher Shield championships.

Coleman later coached the Macksville Sea Eagles Rugby League Club for four consecutive seasons until 2012, while also playing on the team. 

In February 2018, he rejoined the South West Rocks’ Marlin Magpies for whom he played four years earlier, taking a position as the team’s captain. 

More recently, he has been involved in coaching junior rugby team, the Smithtown Tigers, training the next wave of superstars since August last year. 

Speaking about the family, Coleman’s mother Elaine previously told local newspaper The Macleay Argus her four sons had been playing football for decades.  

‘They’ve all played sport continuously, then two (Scott and Darren) converted but they all ended up playing for the Gaolers – I remember Scott, Matt and Grant being a part of a 19’s win,’ she said in August 2021.

The alleged fight occurred outside South West Rocks Country Club (pictured) on Saturday night

The alleged fight occurred outside South West Rocks Country Club (pictured) on Saturday night

Both men were locals who were well known within the community. Pictured: The interior of South West Rocks Country Club

Both men were locals who were well known within the community. Pictured: The interior of South West Rocks Country Club 

‘They’re super proud (of Darren), they often have a crack at him at Christmas time because he locks himself away on his laptop and the phone is constantly on his ear, they always give him stick about that but it’s paid off.’

Meanwhile, tributes have started pouring in online for Mr Davidson, who defeated American Surfing champion Kelly Slater in two consecutive heats at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach in Victoria in 1996.

At the time, Mr Davidson was only 19, and had been admitted into the competition as a wild card. 

‘Lost another soldier yesterday,’ Slater wrote in a tribute on Instagram, alongside a picture of Mr Davidson.

‘Had many a good battle with this guy. One of the most naturally talented surfers I ever knew.’

Another friend said Mr Davidson had been ‘taken too soon’.

‘Thinking of your many friends worldwide and of course your family,’ she said.

Chris Davidson (in red top) makes his way down to the beach during the Rip Curl Pro on April 24, 2011 in Bells Beach, Australia

Chris Davidson (in red top) makes his way down to the beach during the Rip Curl Pro on April 24, 2011 in Bells Beach, Australia

‘Such a wild, kind hearted character that will be sorely missed. RIP Davo.’

A family friend who had known Mr Davidson since the wave rider was 14 said he was ‘one of the most gifted surfers’ he had ever seen.

‘He was a wild child with a heart of gold! He was mate , a good kid. A life cut needlessly short.

‘My deepest condolences to family and friends.’

Police have not released details of what they believe sparked the incident leading to Mr Davidson’s death. 

Coleman’s lawyer James Janke told Daily Mail Australia that his client did not want to comment and maintains his right to silence.

Mr Janke said at this stage he has not been given instruction to apply for bail on behalf of Coleman.

Coleman is due to next appear before Kempsey Local Court on 23 November. 

South West Rocks Country Club declined to comment when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.  

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk