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Hawthorn AFL great Shane Crawford has shared his family's heartbreak after confirming that his brother Justin has tragically died.
Details surrounding the former AFL player's passing have been scarce, with reports that he died suddenly at the age of 45.
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Shane spoke briefly to the Herald Sun to confirm the awful news, and says it has left the entire family shocked and devastated.
“We are all grieving,” Shane Crawford said.
“We are so sad. He was a much-loved brother and son.”
The younger brother of Hawks great Shane, Justin was selected by the Sydney Swans in the 1994 draft, going on to play 46 games and kicking 32 goals for the club.
His AFL debut came in a round three loss to Brisbane in 1995 where Justin played in the midfield and tallied 11 disposals in his first match.
Justin received a rising star nomination courtesy of a two-goal haul against Fitzroy in round 19.
He played 10 games in his first season for the Swans but only managed seven in season two, before moving to Hawthorn to join his older brother.
“Hawthorn asked me if I’d like to come over – I said ‘Yeah, if they could get me, I’d love it,’” Justin said at the time.
It was the first time Justin and Shane had played together since they were kids running out for Finley in their junior days.
Unfortunately, the younger Crawford brother's time at Hawthorn only lasted two seasons before he announced a shock retirement from the sport.
Justin was only 21 when he called time on his AFL career.
AFL fans pay tribute to memory of Justin Crawford
News of his tragic death has seen AFL fans take to social media to pay their condolences to Crawford's family.
So much loss lately. Our thoughts are with the Crawford family at this time. RIP Justin Crawford. https://t.co/XFUbbYPEGB
— Hawk Talk Podcast (@HawkTalkPod) July 21, 2022
— Phill T (@philltee) July 21, 2022
RIP JUSTIN CRAWFORD! 😢
— Tex Ritter (@Tex_of_Tassie) July 21, 2022
The @aflplayers extend their deepest condolences to the family of Justin Crawford following his tragic passing. Our thoughts are with the Crawford family.
— aflplayers (@AFLPlayers) July 21, 2022
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