AFL couple's baby joy days after devastating family tragedy

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Pictured here, Western Bulldogs star Mitch Wallis and wife Emily with their newborn son William.
Western Bulldogs star Mitch Wallis and wife Emily welcomed the birth of their second child just days after tragedy struck the family. Pic: Instagram

Western Bulldogs star Mitch Wallis and his wife Emily are celebrating the birth of their second child, just days after being rocked by a devastating family tragedy.

Wallis was absent from the Dogs' one-point loss to Adelaide at Ballarat on Saturday, granted personal leave after the tragic death of his mother-in-law.

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Speaking in his press conference after the Bulldogs' 8.15 (63) to 9.8 (62) loss to the Crows, Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge revealed that Wallis’ mother-in-law had died on Thursday after being struck by a car the previous weekend.

The Bulldogs star referenced his family's heartbreaking loss after taking to social media to announce the birth of he and wife Emily's second child, a son named William on Sunday.

“Born 4.1kg this morning by a powerful, beautiful and loving mum,” Wallis wrote.

“We are pouring our energy into our miracle.

“We feel blessed to be inundated with words of strength, care and support over the past week.

“William is and will continue to be a pillar for healing for our family as he grows under the watchful eye of his nana.”

Wallis and his wife Emily are also the proud parents of daughter Emily, who was born in June 2020.

Bulldogs loss to Crows comes amid trying period for club

Following Saturday's loss, Beveridge also revealed that development coach and former Geelong Cats player Travis Varcoe was mourning the death of his mother last week.

"It has been a challenging week for the group, for the club," Beveridge said.

"It has been a really traumatic week for the families, and obviously your football club is like a second home, a second family, and everyone feels that and is really emotional around what is happening with Mitch and Emily and their families.

In a trying time for the Bulldogs, former captain Lachie Hunter also recently stepped away from the club indefinitely due to personal reasons.

Lachie Hunter in action for the Western Bulldogs against Melbourne Demons in Round 1. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Lachie Hunter in action for the Western Bulldogs against Melbourne Demons in Round 1. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"I don't have that concern," Beveridge said when asked if he was worried about Hunter not returning to the club.

"I believe Lachie is going to be OK and we'll have him back before the end of the year.

"Over the journey Lachie's had a challenge here and there.

"The thing about 'Hunts' is every time he turns up to play he gives his absolute all, and in recent times it's got on top of him a little bit.

"He's OK but he knows in the immediate future he's got to work through a few things.

"Whether it's a month, two months or whatever it may be, we'll have him back and hopefully he's able to play some footy before the end of the year."

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