Devastating details emerge after death of Dustin Martin's father

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Shane Martin, pictured here in New Zealand in 2019.
Dustin Martin is mourning the tragic death of father Shane. Image: AAP/Getty

New Zealand Police have provided sad details after the tragic death of AFL star Dustin Martin's father Shane.

Richmond Football Club announced the devastating news on Saturday that Shane had died in New Zealand.

He was 54.

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"The Richmond Football Club can confirm the passing of Shane Martin, the father of player Dustin Martin," Richmond said in a brief statement on Saturday.

"The club extends its heartfelt sympathy to Dustin, his brothers Bronson and Tyson and the entire Martin family."

Shane Martin, pictured here with Richmond player Jake King in 2013.
Shane Martin with Richmond player Jake King in 2013. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

While the cause of death is unknown, NZ Police said they attended a property on the street on which Shane Martin lived, where a man was found dead.

NZ Police said there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Shane had been living in his native New Zealand since 2016 after being deported from Australia on character grounds.

Martin was previously a top-ranking member of the Rebels motorcycle gang and had his visa cancelled under section 501 of the Australian Immigration Act, which states people can be deported if they have a "substantial" criminal record.

In 2019, he revealed he'd been suffering from bouts of depression and desperately missed his sons in Australia.

"I was depressed and angry for a while and took it out on my wife a bit," he told the New Zealand Herald.

"It wasn't her fault but she stood strong. Now we're living together. We'd just got married, two weeks after that I got deported, separated for nearly three years."

Richmond gave Dustin Martin permission to fly overseas to visit his father in April when the travel bubble opened.

The pair shared a close bond but had not seen each other for 12 months prior to that visit because of travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s been a massive challenge, but it is what it is,” Martin said in March.

“I love my dad and he’s made me the man I am today. I’ve got full belief he’ll back here to watch us win another flag.

“That’s my dream to be able to have the old man up there (in the grandstand) with the rest of my family and watch the Tiges win another flag.”

Shane Martin, pictured here celebrating after Richmond's victory in the 2019 AFL grand final.
Shane Martin celebrates after Richmond's victory in the 2019 AFL grand final. (AAP Image/Brett Phibbs)

Shane Martin's tragic life trying to get back to Australia

In February of 2020, Shane was sent back to New Zealand after flying to Sydney and being detained by Border Force officials.

He was forced to watch Dustin win the 2019 and 2020 premierships from New Zealand.

“It's pretty hard to see it on TV when I should be there, really, but that's another story," Shane said last year.

“It's still a proud moment but I would have loved to be there, but yeah, you know, it is what it is, don’t want to take the moment away from it.”

Shane had previously renounced his connection to the Rebels bikie gang and slammed government officials in Australia.

“They respect what I’m fighting for and vice versa. It sh*ts me that you can't keep in contact with people who have been a big part of your life,” he said.

“I met some really good, respectful people, I don't regret it.

"It sort of annoys me how people look down on bikies, or clubbies. They do have morals, respect and loyalty.”

Dustin Martin began a running program in recent weeks after recovering from surgery to repair a lacerated kidney, which cut short his 2021 season.

The three-time Norm Smith Medal winner was expected to resume full-contact training in the new year, ahead of Richmond's round-one meeting with Carlton on March 17.

with AAP

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