Australian Football League (AFL) Tragedy: Richmond star’s death at age 38 shocks football

Former AFL Player Shane Tuck
Former AFL Player Shane Tuck
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The footy world has been left “devastated” by the news former Richmond player Shane Tuck has been found dead on Monday at the age of 38.

The Australian Football League (AFL) community has been rocked by the news that former Richmond player Shane Tuck has been found dead today at the age of 38.

AFL great Shane Tuck has died on Monday, Hawthorn Football Club president Jeff Kennett has confirmed.

The devastating news has rocked the AFL community.

Tuck is being mourned by wife Kat and children Will and Ava.

He played 173 games with Richmond from 2004-2013.

The loss of Shane Tuck is being particularly felt at Hawthorn where his father, Michael Tuck, cemented a legacy as the VFL/AFL games record holder and his brother Travis also played.

Former AFL Player Shane Tuck
Former AFL Player Shane Tuck

Tuck is also cousins with Geelong superstar Gary Ablett Jnr.

He was famously drafted by Hawthorn in the 2000 Rookie Draft, but didn’t make his AFL debut until 2004 when he was re-drafted by Richmond as a mature-age recruit through the 2003 National Draft.

Hawthorn released a brief statement on Monday afternoon to extend their condolences to the Tuck family.

Hawks president Jeff Kennett said in the statement: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Shane.

“There are few words that we can express at this time, other than to convey our devout sadness and sympathy to the Tuck family.

“The Board of Directors, Past Players and Officials Association, management, staff and players of Hawthorn Football Club extend their sincerest condolences to Shane’s parents Michael and Fay, his wife Kat, children Will and Ava, and the extended Tuck family.”

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Shane Tuck reacts after Richmond were defeated in an AFL finals series match.
Shane Tuck reacts after Richmond were defeated in an AFL finals series match.Source:News Limited

Richmond also released a statement from chief executive Brendan Gale.

“We’re incredibly saddened by the news of Shane’s passing, he will be missed enormously by everyone,” Gale said.

“We send our deepest condolences to Shane’s family and loved ones – his wife Kat, children Will and Ava, parents Michael and Fay, and the extended Tuck family.

“Shane was a warrior on the field, giving everything to the team each week, and a humble, fun-loving person off the field.”

The Tigers will also wear black armbands in honour of Tuck when they play the GWS Giants in Sydney on Friday night.

Tuck turned to boxing after retiring from footy in 2013 and had a series of professional fights, including in front of a massive crowd at the Adelaide Oval on the undercard of Danny Green’s re-match with Anthony Mundine in 2017.

He decided to hang up the gloves at the end of 2017 after a draw with Steve Roberts at the Melbourne Pavilion, finishing his career with a record of three wins (one via knockout), one draw and one loss.

Shane Tuck defeated Ivan Kolar in Adelaide.

Shane Tuck defeated Ivan Kolar in Adelaide.Source:News Corp Australia

He played his junior footy with the Dandenong Stingrays. After failing to break through into Hawthorn’s starting side he moved to SANFL club West Adelaide where he made his senior debut.

His form with West Adelaide won him a re-call to the AFL with the Tigers where he went on to kick 74 goals.

He said after retiring that he found it difficult to deal with the spotlight and the constant comparisons with his father.

“In the early days I did find it a bit of a burden,’’ he said in 2014.

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“Everyone was saying “oh, you’re going to be as good as your dad’ and putting massive expectations on me.

“When I was young I didn’t think I could reach the heights of the old man and as a kid you don’t really think straight sometimes.

“I let things like that affect me too much and it was a burden. It was only when I got older that I really learnt to be proud of dad for his achievements.”


AFL career:

Son of Hawthorn great Michael Tuck and brother of Hawthorn player Travis Tuck

Drafted: 24th in 2000 Rookie Draft by Hawthorn, 73rd in 2003 National Draft by Richmond

AFL Debut: 2004

Final game: 2013 Elimination Final Richmond Vs Carlton

Games Played: 173

Goals Scored: 74

He finished in the top 10 in Richmond’s annual best and fairest award seven times

Boxing career:

Boxing Debut: 2015

Boxing Record: 3-1 (1 Draw)


Shane Tuck at the MCG.

Shane Tuck at the MCG.Source:News Limited

Former teammate and Richmond star Jack Riewoldt led the tributes for Tuck during a scheduled radio appearance on SEN.

“To have the news drop today that the man that we know and love known as Tucky has passed away, it’s really hard to put it into words. It’s a really sad day for the football club,” Riewoldt said just minutes after the tragic news was first reported.

“He became a cult figure. People loved him. He was obviously the son of a very famous footballer, but you could see he was brought up to be respectful. He would always have the time to talk to people. He was a people’s person.

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“He was an absolute crowd favourite. He did things that Richmond people loved. He was hard. He was tough.

“You always walked taller when you had Shane Tuck playing next to you.

“He was one of those players you’d love to spend time with because there’d always be a story to come out of it … he was a footballer’s footballer.”

Richmond legend Kevin Bartlett also posted a devastated message on Twitter.

“So saddened by the passing of Shane Tuck,” Bartlett wrote.

“We had some lovely conversations in the past as I was an admirer of the way he played with such commitment. When my daughter worked at Richmond she would always say he was the nicest person. Thinking of the Tuck family. RIP Shane.”

Tuck’s former coach Terry Wallace described Tuck as a “very, very loveable person”.

“I coached 99 games at Richmond and there was only one player who played in all 99 games alongside of me and that was Tucky,” Wallace told SEN Radio on Monday.

“It’s just devastating news and I feel so much for the family, his teammates and those around him.

“He was such a lovely guy. I couldn’t speak more volumes about him. He was the typical country lad.

“Such a loyal guy, he couldn’t have been any more loyal to me.

“A very, very, very loveable person and one of the great characters around that football club at the time.

“During my time there it wasn’t easy but Tucky just kept fronting up week in, week out and doing what he did.”

The tragic news has left footy commentators devastated.

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