FORMER Melbourne and Fremantle AFL player Colin Sylvia has died in a motor vehicle accident.
The 32-year-old was involved in a two-vehicle collision on Sunday afternoon in Irymple, near Mildura, in Victoria’s north west.
Demons great and AFL media personality Garry Lyon confirmed the news on Monday morning.
“Colin Sylvia has tragically been killed in a car accident near Mildura,” Garry Lyon told SEN.
Sylvia’s former Melbourne teammate Brent Maloney paid tribute to the 163-gamer.
“To my best mate, I still can’t believe it,” Moloney wrote online accompanied by a photograph of the pair walking outside of the MCG.
“Words can’t describe how I’m feeling!!! We were always side by side no matter where we were.
“My thoughts go out to his beautiful family, I’m gonna miss you brother x Gone to (sic) soon R.I.P Col xx.”
Sylvia retired from the AFL in 2015 after a topsy-turvy career.
The midfielder failed to reach the heights expected of him after Melbourne drafted him with pick No.3 in the 2003 national draft.
Sylvia showed flashes of brilliance during his 157-game, 10-year stay at the Demons but injury and inconsistency was a constant source of frustration for fans and coaches.
He endured his fair share of off-field controversies after being stripped of his place in the 2011 International Rules Series for leaving the scene of a car crash in South Melbourne.
Searching for a fresh start, Sylvia crossed to Fremantle at the end of 2013 as a high-prized free agent.
But the move flopped as Sylvia played six underwhelming games for the Dockers in 2014 before he was banished to the WAFL and agreed to leave the club in early 2015, despite having more than a year left to run on his contract.
“(He was) just one of those footballers where that talent and potential was never fulfilled, found his way to Fremantle and couldn’t get settled over there either,” Lyon said.
“He has had some off-field issues he has had to deal with along the way.”
Sylvia was spared jail in January but recorded a conviction after pleading guilty to using a stolen credit card at a brothel and to buy pornography.
The footballer broke down in tears during the hearing as his father Craig Sylvia told the court his son spiralled into a bad head space after his retirement and a relationship breakdown.