From hero to zero and back to hero again, former police officer Craig Campbell will be the main attraction at an all-star football tournament on Sunday.
Campbell, 56, shot to infamy as the burly Cronulla riot policeman who saved a Middle Eastern couple on a train by furiously swinging his police baton to force a mob of youths to back away.
But, as Fairfax Media reported in January after the 10th anniversary of the riots, Campbell's life took a downward turn.
His bravery award was taken away after the police hierarchy deemed he used "excessive force", he left the force with chronic PTSD and he now lives in a caravan in his parents' driveway in Dapto.
After reading Fairfax Media's story, Belmore GP and Muslim community leader Jamal Rifi called upon former premier Morris Iemma to help create a football tournament to show Campbell how much the community appreciated his efforts.
Bulldogs legend Hazem El Masri, champion boxer Billy Dib and local sheikhs Ahmed Abdo and Nabil Suckarie are among those who will lead teams in the Craig Campbell Cohesion Cup on Sunday.
The Auburn Giants, the Muslim Women's Association, Granville Boys High School, the Australian Human Rights Commission and media companies competed and raise funds for the Luke Batty Foundation and Campbell.
Campbell, who is still fighting for an injury payout to cover knee problems, will cheer from the sidelines.
"When Dr Rifi contacted me, I was just like, wow, there are no words to describe it," Campbell said. "Seeing that the public appreciate what I did, that's worth more than anything to me."
Dr Rifi read the article when he was in the midst of a court battle against a group of protesters who wanted to stage a 10-year "celebration" of the Cronulla riots as a protest against multiculturalism.
"I was shocked because if there is anything that we should be remembering or celebrating about that day, it is the brave actions of this man," he said.
After leaving the force, Campbell's marriage broke down and he became locked in a bitter battle for injury payouts. He lives on $440-a-week workers' compensation and is unable to hold down a job due to his PTSD.
Earlier this year, two Muslim men tracked down Campbell and travelled to Wollongong to take him out for lunch and give him some new clothes and cash that the community had raised.
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