Trio strongly missed after boots packed

CLUB stalwart Luke Lewis, scintillating fullback Michael Gordon and tenacious five-eighth Travis Burns will exit the club at the end of the season, but their legacy is unlikely to vanish as fast as their physical presences.

Ahead of the Panthers' final game of the year, their teammates told the Star what they would miss most about the beloved trio.

Fullback-turned-five-eighth Lachlan Coote said he'd miss Lewis' guidance — and his wife's brilliant hospitality.

"Lewy looks after me and especially I love going around to his house," he said.

"I'm probably going to miss Sonia the most because she cooks me a lot of dinners."

Coote is also about to lose his surf-loving buddy on the putting green as well as the bloke who never fails to lift his spirits.

"I'm going to miss playing golf with Flash, he's a pretty quiet bloke but he's a good dude and he was my first roomie on my first trip away," he said.

Another local junior who will miss having his inspiration Lewis in the squad is recent NSW State of Origin debutant Tim Grant.

"He's been here since I came into first grade so it'll be a bit weird, to be honest," he said.

"I'll just miss everything. He's been a good mate and he's an unbelievable player but he's only a phone call away."

Second-rower Clint Newton, who only joined the Panthers at the start of the season, said he always trained better when working alongside Lewis.

"I'll miss his competitiveness," he said.

"Having a fellow back-rower who competes at training is always good and the moment you lose that, you stop challenging yourself.

"That can really hurt your form.

"Travis is a real competitor, like Lewis, and a tough nut but myself and Sam McKendry sit next to him in the change rooms and I'm not going to miss his underpants and dirty training gear strewn across the dressing room.

"Michael is obviously a class player. When I arrived here, I spoke to a number of players — Billy Slater and Kurt Gidley — about whom they thought was a good player.

"They all said Michael was highly underrated and extremely talented."

Speedster Michael Jennings said Lewis had magic tricks but he'd most miss the mate behind the mind-boggling routines.

"I work good alongside Lewy and he's a massive loss for us," he said. "He's got personal reasons why he wants to leave and all the boys are behind him."

Debut Panther Matt Robinson will miss Gordon's wise words and Burns' cheek.

"He's the lovable pest of the team," he said. As for hooker Kevin Kingston, the club captain said he'd miss Lewis' aura: "He's a living legend of this club."

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