Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Steve Irwin's Family Says No To State Funeral Offer.

Steve Irwin's father said an offer of a state funeral for the television star will be refused because the man known as the Crocodile Hunter was "an ordinary bloke". Irwin, arguably the most famous Australian, died on Monday when stabbed in the chest by a stingray barb while snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, in Queensland's north.

His father, Bob Irwin, told a news conference outside Australia Zoo, north of Brisbane: "I'd like to thank all the people for all the wonderful tributes that have come in. It's been absolutely amazing." Irwin said no plans had been made at this stage for a funeral but the offer of a state funeral would be refused. "He's just an ordinary bloke," he said of Steve.

Irwin said the death was taking a huge toll on the family but Steve's wife Terri was holding up very well. "It's extremely hard for Terri and the children. "That's why I ask the media to please give them a break for the children's sake."

He described his son as his best mate and recalled what he was doing this week when he heard that Steve had been killed. "Steve and I weren't like father and son, we were good mates. I'm a lucky, lucky guy I've had the opportunity to have a son like Steve."

"Over the years, Steve and I have had a lot of adventures together and there's been many occasions when anything could have gone wrong. Steve knew the risks involved with the type of work he was doing and he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. There's never been anybody else that I know of that had the personality Steve had and the strength and the conviction of what he believed in and his message was conservation. He was such a strong person that people all over the world believed in him," he said.



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