Tributes flow for beloved Danny Frawley

Danny Frawley during his term coaching Richmond. Photo: Getty
Danny Frawley during his term coaching Richmond. Photo: Getty

ST KILDA legend Nicky Winmar has joined the steady procession of grieving fans paying their respects to Danny Frawley at the AFL club’s Moorabbin headquarters.

The much-loved AFL figure died on Monday when the ute he was driving hit a tree near Ballarat. No-one else was in the car at the time.

A makeshift shrine has been set up outside the main entry of the club’s headquarters, with floral tributes, scarves and guernseys left by fans on Tuesday.

Inside the club’s foyer, photos of Frawley taken during his 240-game career were played on a continuous loop on the display screens that dominate the room.

A clearly emotional Winmar stopped at the shrine outside the doors before quietly taking in a memorial set up in a display case in the club’s Hall of Fame.

St Kilda assistant coach Aaron Hamill, who wore Frawley’s No.2 guernsey in 98 games for the club, choked back tears as he spoke about Frawley’s legacy.

“It’s just an outpouring of grief at the moment,” Hamill said.

Danny Frawley after his final game as a player in 1995. Photo: Getty

“Danny Frawley, the man and the player, we were lucky enough to get to know over a number of years.

“And the influence and the impact that he had not only on players and coaches but on the community as a whole.

“It’s a really sad time but also a great time to reflect on the impact that he had, the fun memories, the laughs he was able to bring.

“My greatest memories of him are just his passion and commitment, the desire to wear the jumper when he was playing, but also just to get the (club) right and leave it in a good spot.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews added to the chorus of tributes on Tuesday morning.

“This is a very sad event and I think that every footy fan, all Victorians, are saddened by Danny Frawley’s passing and we send our love and best wishes to his wife and kids,” Andrews said.

“This is a really sad thing … he was not only a champion footballer but a champion bloke.

“He very bravely spoke about some of the challenges that he faced as so many people have, and particularly in recent times.

“I think that every day there are clear reminders and calls to action to do more to support those in our community who live with mental illness.”

The father of three turned 56 on Sunday.

Renowned as one of the AFL’s great full-backs, Frawley played 240 games for St Kilda between 1984-95.

He captained the Saints for 177 games, then a club record.

Frawley coached Richmond for five years, taking them to a 2001 preliminary final.

He is survived by his wife Anita and daughters Chelsea, Danielle and Keeley.

AFL COMMUNITY PAYS TRIBUTE TO ST KILDA LEGEND DANNY FRAWLEY:

* “He fought the good fight but it really got him down. And you work so hard in your life and he’s got such a beautiful family and in the end I suspect – I don’t know for sure, no-one does – I just feel as though things bubbled over in his life.” – Former Victorian premier, Hawthorn president and Beyond Blue founder Jeff Kennett on Channel 7

* “I’m in shock, as I just heard the sad and tragic news about my friend Spud’s passing. RIP mate, just not fair and gone to (sic) soon.” – Australian cricket legend Shane Warne on Instagram

* “I will miss you Spud. A giant of our club. A loyal legend through some of the Saints toughest days. A mate to so many. Thanks for all the amazing stories. My heart goes out to the Frawley family.” – Actor Eric Bana on Twitter

* “He just wanted to be loved, and needed, and sometimes just some people you can give all the love you want but it’s not enough, mate. I think that was the thing for Spud.” – Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley on SEN radio

* “A man that cared about others more than he cared about himself in some ways. It’s a real tragedy that he’s not with us any longer – Brisbane coach Chris Fagan

* “No matter how hard Danny was finding things, he always had a way of making it about the other which is an admirable way to live your life.” – Geelong coach Chris Scott

* “He’s a very energetic man and whenever you were in the room with him, you felt good and you were laughing — and that’s a true reflection of him.” – Former Saint Brendon Goddard on Fox Sports News

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