Michelle and Kelsey Scarr, centre, with Wairarapa police staff during a game of footy in memory of Detective Sergeant David Scarr. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
An annual football game between Wairarapa and Wellington police officers is not about the score, it’s about remembering a mate.
Born and bred in Masterton, Detective Sergeant David Scarr served as a Wairarapa police officer from 1996 until 2004, when he was transferred to the Hutt.
The father-of-two died suddenly, aged 42, while away in the United Kingdom with his family in March, 2011.
Since then, his family and former colleagues have come together once a year to celebrate his life through a game of footy at Memorial Park, Masterton.
Mr Scarr’s wife, Michelle, and daughter, 26-year-old Kelsey soaked up the sunshine on Friday, as team Wairarapa and Wellington District CIB vied for the ‘Dave Scarr’ trophy.
Mrs Scarr said her husband had been a “super fit human being”, but a rare cardiac condition had ended his life.
“He went out for a run, collapsed and died and never came home.”
The couple married in 1995, with Mr Scarr graduating from police college the following year.
Mrs Scarr said her husband “was a real team player” whose work ethic would have seen him rise through the ranks.
“He was well respected and he was a very humble person.”
Kelsey has followed in her father’s footsteps, working out of the NZ Police national headquarters as the community advisor for Neighbourhood Support NZ.
She said she loved how the annual game, played in good spirits, brought so many people together.
“Not just current police, but ex police as well.
“It’s a way to celebrate dad’s life.”
Mr Scarr attended Mikimiki School, Opaki School, and was then a boarder at Wairarapa College.
He played rugby for Wairarapa Bush.
Long-time friend and colleague Senior Constable Peter Sykes said Mr Scarr had been a modest man.
“I would describe him as one of life’s really good guys.
“We would never hear him say a bad word about anybody . . . he was such a nice fella.”
Mrs Scarr commended New Zealand Police for the “amazing support” shown following her husband’s death.
“They’re friends for life.”
As well as Kelsey, the couple have a son Jared, who is 32.
And for the record, the score was 3 – 1 to the Wellington District CIB.