'Welcome little man': AFL superstar's baby joy after devastating tragedy

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Rory Sloane and wife Belinda have welcomed the arrival of new baby Sonny.

The Adelaide Crows star posted an adorable snap on his Instagram account on Tuesday with his new son.

“Welcome to this world my little man,” Rory wrote.

In a touching tribute to the son they lost last year, the Sloanes gave Sonny the middle name Leo.

Sloanes’ touching act to honour Leo

Rory and Belinda lost Leo in August last year when he was stillborn.

Last month they launched the Lion Warrior program with Red Nose, an organisation that aims to improve research into stillbirth and works to eradicate sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

They also spoke about the heartbreak of losing him.

“We got home, had dinner, got into bed, I said to Rory ‘I don’t think this is right … I haven’t felt movement today’,” Belinda said.

“I said to her (the midwife) ‘there’s not a heartbeat is there’ and she just said ‘no, unfortunately there’s no heartbeat.’

“And I can’t even really remember the moments that followed to be honest. I couldn’t cry, I was just in complete shock.”

Belinda and Rory Sloane at the 2015 Brownlow Medal. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Rory described cutting Leo’s umbilical cord, and the moments of joy and sorrow experienced in equal measure with his wife.

“After Leo was born, first thing happened I cut the cord, which was really nice of our obstetrician, Chris, to ask me to do, great moment to experience as a father,” he said.

“I remember him just passing Leo straight into Belinda ‘s arms and again, probably the most emotional we’ve ever been, I think, at that period.

“I remember looking across and Belinda holding her little son in her arms and him obviously being lifeless, but seeing … the joy on Belinda’s face, also matched with the sorrow, it was heartbreaking.”

When Leo was born the couple shared simultaneous Instagram posts announcing the devastating news.

“Last week we said goodbye to our beautiful little man,” Sloane wrote.

“Leo Rory Sloane was born into the world still, but perfect.

“Thanks for making us the proudest parents and filling our hearts with love beyond measure, the moments we had with you are now beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.”