'He'll be watching': Emotional tributes flow for Danny Frawley

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Danny 'Spud' Frawley's family (pictured) become emotional during a tribute to the St Kilda great at Marvel stadium.
The late Danny 'Spud' Frawley's family (pictured) stand on the sideline as the players pay tribute to the St Kilda great at Marvel stadium. (Images: Fox Sports)

The AFL world has paid tribute to the late Danny Frawley with a beautiful pre-game celebration 18 months after the Saints great died in a car crash.

St Kilda and Melbourne came together to hold the inaugural 'Spud's Game: Time 2 Talk' match, which was a celebration of the life of the late 'Spud' Frawley.

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The match also served as an opportunity to raise awareness and start a national conversation around the importance of mental health awareness within the community.

St Kilda kicked off the tributes after running out to warm up in No.2 'Spud' jerseys, which the St Kilda great made famous.

The players then ran through their drills and kicked goals at the Locket and Frawley ends of Marvel Stadium.

The 'Lloyd' end was renamed to Frawley for the night to mark the special occasion.

After a special presentation in the dressing room, the players joined Gary Lyon, Tony Lockett and St Kilda great Steward Loewe in the middle of the ground.

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Lyon then paid tribute to Frawley and raised the importance on checking up on your mates and starting a conversation around mental health.

“Whether you’re sitting here in the stands or at home watching on the television, it’s a time to talk,” Lyon said out in the middle of Marvel stadium.

“If you’ve got an issue at home, if you’ve got a problem, if you think there’s something that needs to be said, we are encouraging tonight to talk – and that’s what Spud would’ve wanted you to do.

MELBOURNE,Danny Frawley's wife Anita Frawley (2R), and three daughters Chelsea (L), Keeley (2L) and Danielle Frawley (R) pose for a photo during the 2021 AFL Round 02 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium on March 27, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. - MARCH 27: Danny Frawley's wife Anita Frawley (2R), and three daughters Chelsea (L), Keeley (2L) and Danielle Frawley (R) pose for a photo during the 2021 AFL Round 02 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium on March 27, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
Danny Frawley's wife Anita Frawley (2R), and three daughters Chelsea (L), Keeley (2L) and Danielle Frawley (R) pose for a photo during the 2021 AFL Round 02 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium on March 27, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“If you didn’t know Danny Frawley like we did, he had three great loves. He loved his family most of all, he loved his mates and he loved to compete.

"And this time right here just before the game was starting was when he was at his best, because he was standing alongside his mates like these two (Loewe and Lockett) and he was eye-balling the bloke across the line – and that was what he was all about it."

Frawley's friends and family pay tribute

Lyon sent a special message to the players on the inaugural 'Time 2 Talk' match in honour of Spud.

“I was thinking about what the message might be to Jack Steele and the Saints boys: ‘Don’t you dare take a backwards step tonight, boys.’ He’ll be watching," he said.

Garry Lyon, Tony Lockett and Stewart Loewe pause to remember Danny Frawley during the 2021 AFL Round 02 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium on March 27, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
Garry Lyon, Tony Lockett and Stewart Loewe pause to remember Danny Frawley during the 2021 AFL Round 02 match between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium on March 27, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“And what would he say to Maxy (Gawn) and your Melbourne boys: ‘Make sure you’re worthy of the honour of being involved in this game tonight.’ That’s what it’s all about.”

“Look after your mates.”

The players then linked arms and stood in silence for 10 seconds to pay their respect to Frawley.

Saints players run out for warm up in special tribute tops to Danny
Saints players run out for warm up in special tribute tops to Danny "Spud" Frawley during the round 2 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium on March 27, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The first bounce was then delayed for two minutes as an initiative to allow friends and family to check up on each other before the start.

Frawley's family were pictured on the sideline arm-in-arm during the emotional tribute.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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