AFL coach Walsh killed, son charged

Phil Walsh (centre), senior coach of the Australian Football League's (AFL) Adelaide Crows, during an AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Crows at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Phil Walsh (centre), senior coach of the Australian Football League's (AFL) Adelaide Crows, during an AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Crows at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. PHOTO: AFP / AFL MEDIA / MICHAEL WILLSON

MELBOURNE • Phil Walsh, the coach of Australian Rules football team Adelaide Crows, was stabbed to death and his son charged with his murder yesterday, sending shockwaves through the country's sporting community.

Police and ambulance crews were called to Walsh's Adelaide home at 2am local time and found the 55-year-old had suffered multiple knife wounds after a dispute with his son.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Walsh's son Cy, 26, was charged with murder after being arrested at a friend's house and detained for psychological assessment.

Police understood that the son lived with his parents. Walsh's wife also suffered a "non-life threatening" leg injury in the incident and was taken to hospital.

Australian Rules football, the country's high-contact indigenous sport, is very popular in the nation's southern states. Huge crowds attend matches in the top-flight Australian Football League which, in local terms, commands a following similar to Europe's top soccer leagues and America's National Football League.

Having played and coached in several Australian states, Walsh's shocking death sent tremors across the country and stunned the football-mad capital of South Australia state, where crowds of 50,000 regularly pack the Adelaide Oval to watch the Crows, back-to-back champions in 1997-98.

Walsh was remembered as a father-figure to players and possessing an easy sense of humour away from the game.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2015, with the headline 'AFL coach Walsh killed, son charged'. Print Edition | Subscribe