Crystal Edwards, of Mackay, hits the front of the long queue for rugby league legend Darren Lockyer’s autograph at new Apple outlet, Next Byte.
Crystal Edwards, of Mackay, hits the front of the long queue for rugby league legend Darren Lockyer’s autograph at new Apple outlet, Next Byte. Peter Holt

Lockyer still draws sellout crowd

FANS mobbed the official opening of the Next Byte store at Caneland Central in Mackay on Saturday to meet league legend Darren Lockyer.

And the retiring superstar didn't disappoint, spending two hours signing autographs and chatting to fans at the new Apple outlet.

Next Byte national marketing and product manager Scott Philipson said thousands turned up to see Lockyer in store.

"It was a fantastic day - we had a good turnout. The line was halfway down the shopping mall, all the way back towards Flight Centre," he said.

"We had to stop people lining up at 1pm.

"It was the biggest opening Next Byte has ever had."

Mr Philipson said Next Byte had a great relationship with the league legend.

"Darren is a customer of ours in Brisbane; he helped us open our Townsville store," he said.

Mr Philipson said some people queued for an hour and 45 minutes.

He said people came with a variety of items for Lockyer to sign, including a pool cue and four-wheel drive steering wheel cover.

Darren Lockyer has close links with Mackay, the city being the home town of his wife Loren.

He said his two-year-old son, Sonny James, enjoyed spending time here.

While in town Lockyer said he hoped to spend more time in the region, his gruelling football commitments likely to lessen with retirement.

And we may be seeing him on screen, he said, hinting at a career in commentary.

The former Australian captain also made a public appearance on Friday, promoting his recently released autobiography.


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