Australian Football League (AFL) coach of the Adelaide Crows, Phil Walsh, is dead after a violent incident in his home.
Walsh’s son, aged 26, has been arrested, charged with murder and detained for a psychiatric assessment.
South Australian police confirmed Walsh was found dead at his house in the Adelaide suburb of Somerton Park.
Police and ambulance crews were called to the home in Bungey Avenue just after 2am, following a domestic dispute.
Two patrols and ambulance crews attended and attempted to resuscitate Walsh, 55, but he died at the scene.
Police then left to search for Walsh’s son, while other officers remained at the scene. He was located at First Avenue Glenelg East a short time later, arrested for murder and detained for a psychiatric assessment.
Walsh’s wife suffered non life threatening injuries during the incident and is receiving treatment for a leg injury at Flinders Medical Centre. Police said they cannot, at this point, determine the circumstances as to how her injury was sustained.
The murder weapon, a knife, had been recovered at the scene of the crime.
Superintendent Des Bray said an argument had triggered the incident.
“I can’t tell you anything about the argument or the circumstances of that but as a result of that both Mr Walsh and his wife received the wounds, and the wounds have ultimately caused Mr Walsh’s death.”
Sturt CIB and Major Crime Detectives remain at the scene and investigations continue.
Police can confirm that the man murdered at Somerton Pk this morning is Phil Walsh, coach of the Adelaide Crows. https://t.co/HcyFjrSNUn
— SA Police News (@SAPoliceNews) July 2, 2015
Police at the scene where a man was allegedly murdered this morning at Somerton Park. 26yo arrested by police. pic.twitter.com/9zs4k76vMH
— SA Police News (@SAPoliceNews) July 2, 2015
The Adelaide Crows released a media statement following the news of Walsh’s death.
The Adelaide Football Club is devastated at the sudden passing of Senior Coach Phil Walsh in the early hours of this morning.
We ask if you could please respect the privacy of his family, as well as our players, coaches and staff, at this extremely difficult time. The Club will hold a media conference at some stage this afternoon.
AFL media manager Patrick Keane released this statement:
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan this morning has expressed his shock and grief at the death of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh.
“Our industry is grieving today, and we send our love and support to the Walsh family, the Crows staff and players, Phil’s wider circle of friends, the other clubs he worked with, and his many colleagues across the AFL.
“Phil Walsh was a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm, and his death is a tragic loss.
“At this time, the AFL is working closely with the Adelaide Football Club on the support required to the staff and players of the Crows.
“We ask the media to respect the privacy and feelings of the Walsh family, and the Crows’ staff and players as this is a deeply distressing time for everyone,” Mr. McLachlan said.
The AFL will communicate further today following consultation with clubs, the Players Association and the industry.
During a visit at a community afternoon tea in Hamilton, Victoria prime minister Tony Abbott paused for a moment of silence to reflect on Walsh’s passing.
“Obviously, footy fans right around Australia woke up to terrible news this morning. It was a dreadful, dreadful, dreadful tragedy,” Abbott said.
“Phil Walsh began his AFL career here in Hamilton. He was a very well-known and very well respected local from a very large and very well respected local family.
“There is a pall over Hamilton, there is a pall over AFL more generally today and, like Dan, I certainly would want to extend my deepest condolences to his family, to his friends, to his colleagues.”
Gold Coast Suns coach Rodney Eade said Phil Walsh’s murder has been a terrible shock to everyone in the AFL. Eade played alongside Walsh at the Brisbane Bears in the late 1980s.
“It was just a shocking thing for his family, as much as anyone,” Eade said.
“I was quite stunned actually.”
“He was very passionate about his footy.
“We’ve all got issues in our lives, whether it be relationships or money or employment or whatever, it puts it in perspective when things like this happen.
“My thoughts go to and feelings go to the family and Meredith (Walsh’s wife).”
The Hawthorn Football Club expressed their condolences via Twitter:
Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Phil Walsh's family and friends, and all at @Adelaide_FC at this tragic time. Rest in Peace.
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) July 2, 2015
The West Coast Eagles Football Club also released a statement concerning Walsh’s passing:
The West Coast Eagles are stunned and shocked by the tragic death of former assistant coach Phil Walsh in Adelaide in the early hours of the morning.
Phil was an assistant coach at the club for five years under John Worsfold and was an integral part of West Coast.
He forged close relationships with a number of players and staff in that time, where his passion for the game and dedication to drive the club to the highest possible levels were so evident.
West Coast Eagles Chief Executive Officer Trevor Nisbett said the club was numbed by the news this morning that Phil had been murdered.
“It was both surreal and devastating to wake up to the news of Phil’s death this morning and it is difficult to process,” Mr Nisbett said.
“Phil made an outstanding contribution to our club and was an important part of the West Coast family.
“We offer our deepest condolences to Phil’s wife Meredith and to all those dear to him at this tragic time.”
Walsh played a total of 122 games in his VFL career across Collingwood, Richmond and the Brisbane Bears. He won the Bears’ Best and Fairest Award in the team’s first season in 1987.
He began his coaching career at Geelong before moving to Port Adelaide in 1999 and won the AFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year award under Mark Williams in 2004, the year Port won the premiership.
He was appointed coach of the Crows in October last year after Brenton Sanderson was sacked.
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