Danielle Frawley caught in awful situation amid Angus Brayshaw's retirement from AFL

The daughter of the late Danny Frawley, Danielle is engaged to Melbourne Demons player Brayshaw.

Angus Brayshaw, pictured here with fiancee Danielle Frawley.
Angus Brayshaw and fiancee Danielle Frawley. Image: Getty/Instagram

Amid the sadness of Angus Brayshaw being forced to retire from the AFL, fans and pundits are also keeping his fiancee Danielle and the Frawley family in their thoughts. Danielle Frawley was rocked by the death of her father Danny in 2019, with the AFL legend found to have been suffering from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after he died by suicide.

CTE is caused by repeated head injuries and can only be diagnosed properly after death. As if losing her father wasn't bad enough, Danielle is now dealing with the sadness of her fiancee having to retire prematurely due to a head injury.

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Danielle is engaged to Brayshaw, who announced last week that he'd been forced to hang up the boots on the advice of medical professionals. A scan revealed Brayshaw's brain had changed in the aftermath of his latest concussion, which he suffered last year in a controversial collision with Collingwood player Brayden Maynard.

Danielle and the Frawley family were heavily affected by the Brayshaw-Maynard incident last year, and would no doubt be struggling in the wake of the sad retirement twist. Brayshaw was initially planning to attend the Brownlow Medal ceremony in October alongside Danielle, but pulled out at the last minute.

That came after Danny's wife Anita released a statement in the wake of Maynard's bump that left Brayshaw unconscious. “The events of the past few days have been extremely traumatising for my family,” she told The Australian.

“We request that we be given privacy to deal with our ongoing trauma, especially during the week of the anniversary of Danny’s death. Discussions about CTE and concussion need to be ongoing and the protection of athletes’ brains has to be sacrosanct. There can be no diversion from this as we, as a family, do not want to see anyone else go through the trauma and pain that has and continues to effect us.”

Angus Brayshaw and Danielle Frawley, pictured here at the Brownlow Medal in 2022.
Angus Brayshaw and Danielle Frawley at the Brownlow Medal in 2022. (Getty Images)

Chelsea Frawley lauds AFL progress since father's death

That sentiment was expressed again this week, with Danielle's older sister Chelsea speaking out amid the announcement that the fourth annual 'Spud's Game' will be staged at the MCG for the first time this year. The annual game, which honours Danny 'Spud' Frawley, will see St Kilda take on premiers Collingwood in round two on a Thursday night.

Danny Frawley's wife Anita and three daughters in 2021.
Danny Frawley's wife Anita and three daughters Danielle, Keeley and Chelsea during 'Spud's Game' in 2021. (AAPIMAGE)

Chelsea said Brayshaw - her future brother-in-law - had benefited from improved testing capabilities around concussions that weren't available to her father. “I think five years ago, some of the testing that’s out wouldn’t be here," Chelsea said.

"So I think although it took a few lives to be lost to actually get to the point where we’re now focusing on the importance of protecting the brain and how sacrosanct the brain is … it’s very positive that this testing has come this far. We’re just so passionate to make sure that no one has to go through what we did five years ago.”

'Spud's Game' also serves as a fundraiser for the Danny Frawley Centre, which was established at St KIlda's Moorabbin headquarters as a lasting tribute to the club great. The centre, plus its in-house charity, aims to foster mental health in the community.

Danny Frawley, pictured here during a St Kilda training session in 2018.
Danny Frawley during a St Kilda training session in 2018. (Getty Images)

As well as captaining St Kilda and coaching at Richmond, Frawley was also an assistant at the Saints and Magpies. "I don't think his head (could have gotten) any bigger, but it probably would explode," Chelsea said with a laugh about how her father would react to such an honour.

"Thursday night against Collingwood, he would be so ecstatic. I know he absolutely loved his time at the 'Pies. As a family, we're so thankful to the Saints for giving us the platform of Spud's Game, to promote what we're doing here at the centre."

Readers seeking support and information can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

with AAP

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