Danny Frawley was a larch commentator and media personality with a loving wife and three daughters – but also a troubled soul.
The death of the legend of St Kilda sent shock waves through the AFL community on Monday, when the driver he was driving hit a tree in Ballarat, not far from where he had been raised on his family's potato farm.
The 56-year-old, who recently began to open his depression with depression, is survived by wife Anita and their daughters Danielle, Chelsea and Keeley.
In the past few weeks he told his best friends that his marriage was over and that he was having financial difficulties, The age reported.
He leaves behind his wife Anita and three beautiful daughters Chelsea, Keeley and Danielle
The former star of St Kilda and the former coach of Richmond – who turned 56 on Sunday – were killed when his vehicle hit a tree in Ballarat, Victoria
The emotional and financial pressure on himself and his family after being fired as Richmond coach in 2004 was widely published at the time.
He was forced to relocate the family from a five-bedroom home worth about $ 3,800,000 – and relegated to a smaller one down the street.
& # 39; That was pretty tough. We had a nice house. We bought and built the piece of land, because Anita has a good eye for detail & he said Herald Sun. podcast last month.
& # 39; We sold our house and there was one for sale near the court. We bought that. It was hard for the girls who were then twelve, eight and three.
& # 39; They had to leave this (luxury) house and enter one that was probably half as good. We always had to drive past (the old). & # 39;
He also had to relocate the family from a generous two-bedroom, two-story home (photo), estimated at about $ 3,800,000
The family then moved to another house 97 steps away, estimated to be worth about $ 2,800,000
Danny pictured with his daughter Keeley (center) and wife Anita (right)
Frawley coached Richmond for five years until his ax in 2004, before becoming CEO of the AFL Coaches & # 39; Association.
His term there coincided with the unrest of the Essendon supplements – and it claimed his mental health.
& # 39; I was unable to do anything with it, & # 39; he said to the podcast.
& # 39; It finally got my head involved. It was something in my psyche, perhaps from the Richmond days, not playing in a final, all those things built up to a tipping point. & # 39;
That turning point came in 2014, when Frawley saw his car outside the MCG after calling a game for Triple M.
He couldn't remember how to get home.
Frawley called his wife who picked him up, and the couple agreed that he needed urgent help.
Danny Frawley was nicknamed Spud because he grew up on a potato farm
Frawley was killed when a car hit a tree near Gordon, 20 km east of Ballarat, Victoria, at 1.30 p.m.
& # 39; I was stubborn, I didn't sleep for three weeks and the result … I actually had a nervous breakdown, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; From that I got a major depression and looking back I probably had depression all the time. & # 39;
He later said he realized that mental illness is not a weakness and hoped that the stigma surrounding depression would be removed.
& # 39; In the past you had to suffer in silence. Going up now is raising your hand, & he said.
& # 39; I have no problem talking about mental health and what I went through because I hope I can help many people with that. & # 39;
It was in 2014 when things took a dark turn and Frawley didn't sleep for three weeks
One day Frawley found himself in his car outside the MCG uncertain about how to get home and confused about what was going on (pictured with his family)
Frawley, nicknamed Spud because he grew up on a potato farm in Bungaree near Ballarat, played 240 games for St Kilda from 1984-95.
He was the club's longest captain until Nick Riewoldt surpassed him in 2016 and was admitted to the club's Hall of Fame in 2007.
Frawley also worked as an AFL commentator for Triple M, Fox Sports, SEN and the Nine Network, as well as a part-time defensive coach with his beloved saints.
Andrew Bassat, president of St. Kilda, said the club struggled to face his death.
Danny Frawley of the Saints is chaired from the ground up after his last match in 1995
About his experience with depression, Frawley (middle) told others to seek help and advise them
& # 39; Danny will be remembered as one of the greatest players of St. Kilda ever and a close friend of so many in the football club, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; He was a character greater than life, a generous and warm personality, and a favorite son who left an indelible mark on St. Kilda. & # 39;
A statement from Crocmedia, with which Frawley had also been associated for many years, paid tribute to their & # 39; great friend & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Danny was just loved. A true Australian character, a brilliant entertainer, an unselfish father, husband, and friend, & # 39; said Crocmedia boss Craig Hutchison.
In a statement, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany and head of Fox Sports Peter Campbell said: “Words cannot convey our deep love and respect for Danny Frawley.
The president of St. Kilda, Andrew Bassat, said the club was still coming to terms with the (left) death of Frawley
& # 39; The Fox Sports family, and Fox Footy in particular, lost its own player today – a leader, a man with incredible passion, insight and love for his family and for his game, AFL. & # 39;
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews described Frawley as a legend of the game.
& # 39; Danny Frawley described herself as a simple spud farmer who had found his way in the big smoke. Of course he was so much more than that, & he said.
& # 39; Captain. Trainer. Best and fairest. All-Australian. Legend of the game. Tonight we think of Danny & # 39; s family, friends and fans. & # 39;
On Monday night, a heartbroken Neroli Meadows struggled to control her emotion when she announced the tragic death of her Fox Sports colleague.
A heartbroken Neroli Meadows (photo) struggled to contain her emotion when she announced the tragic death of her colleague
Nine News host Tony Jones (photo) also broke down when he remembered working with Frawley and the life he lived
Meadows struggled to keep her calm when she announced the news.
& # 39; Danny Frawley was a legend from St Kilda who had a huge impact on every player who followed the club, & # 39; she said, her voice breaking.
& # 39; On a tough day it is just a very sad day for everyone in footy, but especially in the foot club of St Kilda. & # 39;
Meadows noted that Frawley left a significant impression on everyone who followed the game, especially when he opened his mental illness.
& # 39; Away from being incredibly entertaining and a brilliant player, he also left his mark on footy, opening up on the importance of mental health and starting some really important conversations, & # 39; she said.
Danny Frawley is survived by his wife Anita and three daughters Danielle, Keeley and Chelsea
Nine News host Tony Jones also broke out when he remembered working with Frawley and the life he lived.
& # 39; While we're standing here today thinking about Danny Frawley's life, he will be remembered as that knockout country boy, & # 39; he said.
Jones said that Frawley did so much before the game and his death was a & # 39; horrible horrible loss & # 39; because he had so much more to give.
& # 39; I personally want to express my condolences to Anita Frawley and his daughters and we can only wish the Frawley family to get through this somehow & # 39 ;, he said and fought his tears.
AFL Community pays tribute to St Kilda Legend Danny Frawley
& # 39; He was my captain here for nine years with the Saints and when I started, he was the example of how you can give everything for the club, your teammates. He would sacrifice anything he could. In terms of what it meant to be a team player, there was no one better than Danny. & # 39; Former teammate Nathan Burke.
& # 39; It is a devastating day for the wider football community and the loss of Danny will be taken very hard by so many people. & # 39; – AFL CEO Gillion McLachlan
& # 39; He was a character greater than life, a generous and warm personality, and a favorite son who left an indelible mark on St. Kilda. & # 39; – St Kilda president Andrew Bassat
& # 39; How can we understand the shock of Danny Frawley? A respected competitor, a loyal and always supportive assistant, but more importantly, a damn good guy and friend. & # 39; – Collingwood player and coach Tony Shaw on Twitter
& # 39; R.I.P measure. You gave me my first chance to play AFL. You took a point on me while nobody else did. You were so supportive and always there for me and my family. I am forever grateful. & # 39; – Former player of Richmond and Collingwood, Andrew Krakouer on Twitter
& # 39; He will unfortunately be missed by so many. Every time I have seen him since his coaching days, I left with a smile on my face. & # 39; – Richmond champion Matthew Richardson told News Corp Australia
& # 39; It was absolutely as if you were losing one of yourself today. My entire football trip was almost the same as Danny's. & # 39; – Coach and player Paul Roos on Fox Footy
& # 39; Danny Frawley! another very sad death. Sad beyond sad. worse now for his family. My thoughts are with them and so sad that we couldn't save Spud. He will be missed! & # 39; – Former Victorian prime minister, Hawthorn president and founder of Beyond Blue Jeff Kennett on Twitter
& # 39; It's hard to express the loss, it's hard to express the shock we felt when we first discovered (about) losing Spud Frawley. Spud was one of us & # 39; – AFL commentator Gerard Healy on Fox Footy
& # 39; My first memory of Spud was with Roosy when they went through Victoria and did the super clinics … 20 years later I did the same to him. I looked at those children and saw myself … Spud still put a smile on the faces of these children. He was so contagious. & # 39; – Former Brisbane captain Jonathan Brown on Fox Footy
& # 39; Words cannot convey our deep love and respect for Danny Frawley. & # 39; – Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany and head of Fox Sports Peter Campbell
& # 39; Danny was just loved. A true Australian character, a brilliant entertainer, a selfless father, husband and friend & # 39; – Crocmedia boss Craig Hutchison
& # 39; Danny Frawley described herself as a simple spud farmer who had found his way in the big smoke. Of course he was so much more than that. & # 39; – Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews
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