FORMER State of Origin greats rallied around heartbroken former teammate Dale Shearer as he faced the toughest play of all - farewelling his wife Delyse, who succumbed to cancer this week. Aged 39, Delyse had fought and beaten breast cancer 13 years ago only to be diagnosed with a cancerous liver tumour about six months ago. She died on Monday at her Peregian Springs home surrounded by close friends and family including two teenage sons, Jesse and Jackson, whom she had during her 18-year marriage to Shearer. Driving rain and leaden skies echoed the mood as more than 400 mourners packed the Drysdale Funeral Chapel at Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast to say their goodbyes. They included former league stars Paul Vautin, who spoke on behalf of Shearer's former footballing mates, as well as Willie Carne, Sam Backo, Kerrod and Kevin Walters, Gene Miles and Trevor Gillmeister. In a touching acknowledgement of the special day - Valentine's Day - those attending were asked to bring only a single rose. These were placed on the coffin of the woman Shearer referred to as "the perfect person". In a very personal and emotional tribute, Shearer retraced his life with Delyse which began when he first met her at Sarina when she was just 16, through his footballing years to her courageous fight against the cancer that eventually claimed her life. "I've come across some tough characters but I've never seen anyone stronger - and I never will," said a tearful Shearer. "She didn't complain once. Thirteen years ago she proved she could beat cancer and she did. We were confident she could do it again." Vautin said he and his wife Kim had first met Delyse at a State of Origin camp in 1985 when, just a slip of a girl, she had paid him out for missing six tackles in an earlier game.