'Tragic situation': Demons rally around devastated Michael Hibberd

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Pictured here, Michael Hibberd with his brother Geoff, who has gone missing.
Michael Hibberd written a heartbreaking tribute to his missing brother Geoff. Pic: Instagram/Getty

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says the AFL club has thrown its arms around Michael Hibberd at a difficult time for the player and his family.

Hibberd has been rocked by news this week that his older brother has gone missing while fishing off the Victorian coast.

Geoff Hibberd, 33, and Jason De Silva, 20, set out on the three-metre tinny from the Flinders boat ramp some time before 6am on Sunday.

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The pair, who remain unaccounted for, are known to fish off Flinders coast, west of Phillip Island.

On Tuesday the search for the two fishermen resumed a day after their tinny washed ashore.

Hibberd on Tuesday posted several photos of himself and brother Geoff on Instagram, with the words "come home now please, brother".

On Thursday, as hopes continued to fade, the Demons star posted a heartbreaking tribute to his big brother.

"To say I’m heartbroken and devastated is the worlds biggest understatement," Hibberd wrote.

"I will never forget how you have always been there and would do anything for not just me but honestly anyone.

"You’re one of the most unique, kind and caring people I’ve ever met and I’m so lucky I had the gift of you as a Big Brother through my whole life.

"You were my first point of call growing up when I needed someone, you would drop anything you were doing at anytime, just to help me.

"I idolised you! You were my hero. You still are!"

Demons coach extends condolences to Hibberd family

Melbourne’s coach says his and the club’s deepest sympathies go out to the Hibberd family.

"It's without question a really tragic situation for Michael and his family," Goodwin told reporters on Thursday.

"They're clearly doing it really tough at the moment.

"I've been in contact with Michael numerous times every day and he's holding up OK.

"Clearly he's got a lot of mixed emotions and is just coming to terms with the whole situation.

"The club have put a great support network around him and we're working really closely with the family.

"The players have certainly rallied behind him through messages and we'll do anything we can to support the family.

"It's obviously a really difficult time for them."

Goodwin said the situation had been difficult for Melbourne players and coaches to work through while social distancing restrictions are in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

"You just want to go and see him and give him a hug," Goodwin said.

"It's one thing that you do miss at the moment; that social interaction and connection with people.

"You just want to be there for him and we can't at the moment.

"But I can call him, I can contact him and I can show care in other ways, and that's what I'm doing."

Hibberd played in Melbourne's round one defeat to West Coast on March 22 before the AFL went into shutdown.

with Yahoo Sport staff