'Absolutely shocked': AFL rocked by former player's stroke at 37

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Ian Callinan, pictured here at an Adelaide Crows training session in 2013.
Ian Callinan at an Adelaide Crows training session in 2013. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

The AFL world has been rocked by news that former Adelaide Crows player Ian Callinan has suffered a stroke at age 37.

The Southern Cricket Association in Callinan’s home state of Tasmania shared the sad news on Monday, saying they were shocked by the development for the man affectionately known as ‘Wingnut’.

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“(The stroke) is something that has absolutely shocked the Callinan family and all of Ian’s friends, teammates and everyone else in Ian’s life to the core,” the association said.

“‘Nut’ is receiving the best of medical care and all steps are being taken to put treatment in motion that will allow this debilitating health setback to be addressed which will allow Ian to continue on with his life with minimal long term effects.

“As everyone who has come into contact with ‘Wingnut’ will know, Ian is arguably one of the fittest guys running around in the SCA.

“Along with his young age, fitness and his will to fight, all these qualities will go strongly in his favour to come out the end of this health setback and return to a somewhat normal life.

“The SCA and all its members are hopeful that the best possible outcome will prevail and we wish Ian and his family a positive outcome during this time of treatment.”

Sporting world sends well-wishes to Callinan

Callinan kicked four goals for Old Hobartians Association the week before his stroke.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our little champion Ian Callinan, his wife Lauren and immediate family,” the club said.

“It’s been a tough few days but if anyone can bounce back it will be our little master.

“From everyone involved/associated with OHA we are thinking of you guys with love.”

Ian Callinan, pictured here during an AFL game in 2013.
Mitch Grigg is congratulated by Brad Crouch and Ian Callinan after a goal during a game in 2013. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Old Scholars Football Association competition also sent out their well-wishes.

“The OSFA Executive, Member Clubs, Coaches, Players and Supporters would like to wish Ian Callinan a speedy recovery. To his family and friends we send our love and support,” the league said.

“To his OHA family he is your Wingnut and you all know what a champion he is and he will be up and about in no time. Get well soon Champ.”

Callinin played 32 games for the Crows between 2011 and 2013, kicking 49 goals.

He played in the SANFL in 2014 and 2015 before moving back to Tasmania.

Australian cricket great Darren Lehmann was among the many to send their thoughts to Callinan on social media.

“Recover soon mate, thoughts are with you champion, love to all and thinking of you all,” Lehmann wrote.

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