OUTSIDE of his family, Tim Schmetzer had two burning passions in life - his cap collection and the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
So when the Griffith father of three passed away in 2010 following complications from a heart transplant, his wife Robyn kept one item close to her own heart Tim's favourite, slightly frayed and weather-worn, Bunnies cap.
And in a moving gesture last week, Tim's sons Zachary, 8, and Sebastian, 6, took the cap to school to be signed by visiting Souths player Matt King, in honour of their late dad.
"Tim was such a huge Rabbitohs fan, he had an unbelievable amount of passion for them," Mrs Schmetzer said.
"When he passed away, his caps became a way for the boys to connect with him and they will quite often pick one of his caps to wear.
"He would have been so happy to know the boys took his favourite cap to be signed."
King and three other Bunnies players made a flying visit to Griffith schools last week, including East Griffith Public where the Schmetzers attend, as part of the NRL Community Carnival.
Mrs Schmetzer said her boys were "absolutely stoked" when they returned home with the signed cap.
"Seb, who is the bigger league fan, was jumping around and very excited," she said.
"He immediately put it in a special place and said he would never be wearing it again."
Mr Schmetzer, a former local league player with the Yenda Blueheelers and Rankins Springs Dragons, overcame a battle with leukemia as a child and received a life-saving heart transplant in 2006.