The Richmond Football Club has announced the tragic death of Dustin Martin's father Shane at the age of 54.
Shane had been living in New Zealand since 2016 after being deported from Australia.
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The circumstances surrounding his death are not yet known.
“The club extends its heartfelt sympathy to Dustin, his brothers Bronson and Tyson and the entire Martin family,” a statement from Richmond read.
"We ask the media to respect Dustin and the Martin family's privacy in this extremely difficult time."
New Zealand Police said they went to a property on the street on which Shane Martin lived, where a man was found dead.
Police said there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.
The Richmond Football Club is mourning the passing of Shane Martin.
The club extends its heartfelt sympathy to Dustin, his brothers Bronson and Tyson, and the entire Martin family in this extremely difficult time.
— Richmond FC 🐯 (@Richmond_FC) December 17, 2021
Dustin Martin is a three-time premiership player and Norm Smith Medallist, and widely-regarded as one of the greatest to play the game.
However earlier this year he said his one big regret centres around his father's absence for the biggest moments of his career.
Richmond gave 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's anger at being denied entry into Australia
Shane Martin was deported from Australia on the basis of bad character due to his previous association with a bikie gang.
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 his son 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.”
Home Affair Minister Peter Dutton previously defended the decision to ban Mr Martin from the country.
“Part of the reason that we kick out people with severe criminal histories, like Mr Martin, is we want to make sure that people don't commit crimes again in our country,” Dutton said last year.
“We have now cancelled the visas of about 5000 people, many of them involved in outlaw motorcycle gangs, who are the biggest distributors of amphetamines, ice in our country, destroying lives.
“It's a very clear message that if you come to our country as a Kiwi, a US citizen, as citizen of anywhere else in the world and you commit crimes in our country, you can expect to be deported.”
Shane Martin had renounced his connection to the Rebels bikie gang and bemoaned his inability to live 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.”
I feel for Dusty, Rusty, Tyson and Bronson at this hard time.
— ✝️ Clueless middle aged man 🇦🇺 (@Verydeep3rdman) December 18, 2021
Very sad news.
Just recently read Shane's book, what s hard life.
To all the Martin family, my condolences.
— Angie Ioannidis (@IoannidisAngie) December 18, 2021
This is such sad news. Condolences to Dusty and his family. Wish them all the best.
— Christian Bessell (@Neil_Elvis) December 17, 2021
Terrible news. All the best to the Martin family.
— Denholm Melrose (@DMelrose41) December 18, 2021
Devasting news for Dustin and his family, my sincere sympathy and condolences
— 🔴⚫️Andy Bombers 🔴⚫️ (@andy_bombers) December 18, 2021
Not the news any son wants to hear about his fathers passing.
Heartfelt condolences to the GOAT and his family.
This is a moment in time that @Richmond_FC puts their collective arms around our champion.#RIP
— rod (@RodChapple) December 17, 2021
Dusty said he would exchange all his Afl Accolades to be with his Father , that's how much he valued family and loved his dad .So sorry to hear this ,may you cope during this devastating loss .There's an Army behind U 💛🖤
— Sim Sir (@sirottisirrocco) December 18, 2021
So sad - and as in the RFC release
“We ask the media to respect Dustin and the Martin family's privacy in this extremely difficult time.”@heraldsunsport @superfooty @agerealfooty @FOXFOOTY @1116sen and so on
— P (@tigerpops69) December 17, 2021
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