Tributes have been paid to Australian sporting great Danny Frawley after the former Australian Football League (AFL) player died in a single-vehicle crash Monday, just one day after his 56th birthday.
The father of three, who went on to work as a sports commentator after retiring in 1995, is regarded as one of the finest AFL players in history.
He made 240 appearances for AFL side St Kilda, captaining the club from 1987 to 1995. In 1988, he was named the club’s best and fairest and 12 years ago was inducted in the St Kilda Hall of Fame.
Frawley, nicknamed Spud because he grew up on a potato farm, leaves behind his wife Anita and three daughters, Chelsea, Keeley and Danielle.
In a statement on the club’s website, St Kilda President Andrew Bassat said the club was “incredibly saddened” by Frawley’s death.
“Our thoughts are with Anita, and daughters Chelsea, Keeley and Danielle, and we will do whatever we can to support them in the days, weeks and months ahead,” the statement read.
“He was a larger-than-life character, a generous and warm personality, and a favourite son who has left an indelible mark on St Kilda.
“Danny was an active member of our Past Players’ Committee and a much-loved champion to our thousands of supporters.
“We share our grief with them and we will endeavor to provide an opportunity for them to share their own personal tributes in the coming days.”
According to the Australian Associated Press news agency, Frawley died when the pickup truck he was driving hit a tree in regional Victoria. Investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.
Frawley had commentated on the AFL for Triple M, Fox Sports, SEN and the Nine Network and up until last year worked part-time as a defensive coach for St Kilda.
Peter Campbell, Foxtel’s CEO and Head of Sport, said in a statement: “The Fox Sports family, and particularly Fox Footy, today lost one of its own – a leader, a man of incredible passion, insight and love for his family and for his game.
“Our deepest love and wishes go to wife Anita and their three daughters Chelsea, Danielle, and Keeley and to his many teammates, both in front and behind the camera.
“Danny gave us so many laughs and magic moments, from his playing days at St Kilda, coaching at Richmond and then his gifted touches at Fox Footy, as late as Saturday night on his favourite program, Bounce.”