A former Hawthorn great has reportedly opened up about Shane Tuck’s struggles with mental illness after the AFL hero died at age 38 on Monday.
The Daily Mail quoted a ‘former Hawthorn great’ - who asked to remain anonymous - claiming Tuck had endured mental health issues for years.
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Tuck, whose father Michael was a Hawthorn and AFL legend, played 173 games for Richmond after initially being selected by the Hawks in the 2000 rookie draft.
He was cut after only one season, before the Tigers selected him in the national draft in 2003.
An extremely brave and courageous warrior on-field. A big-hearted character off the field.— Richmond FC 🐯🏆 (@Richmond_FC) July 20, 2020
You will be missed enormously by everyone, Tucky 💛
“He was a troubled soul right from the start,” the unnamed former Hawthorn player reportedly said.
“He struggled with serious mental illness for a long, long time.”
Tuck previously admitted to struggling with the pressure of living up to his father’s legacy, before learning to be proud of it.
“I struggled with it,” he told the Herald Sun in 2009.
“As a kid you don’t really think straight sometimes. I let things like that affect me too much.
“When I had my time away from Hawthorn I became proud to be his son rather than let it become a burden.”
Tributes flow for Shane Tuck after death, aged 38
The Richmond Tigers described Tuck as a courageous and brave player who was loved by his teammates, staff and fans off the field.
“We're incredibly saddened by the news of Shane's passing. He will be missed enormously by everyone,” Tigers CEO Brendon Gale said.
“We send our deepest condolences to Shane's family and loved ones - his wife Kat, children Will and Ava, parents Michael and Fay, and the extended Tuck family.
“Shane was a warrior on the field, giving everything to the team each week, and a humble, fun-loving person off the field.”
Richmond spearhead and former teammate Jack Riewoldt described Tuck as an inspiring character.
“You always walked taller when you had Shane Tuck playing next to you,” Riewoldt said on SEN radio.
“There are plenty of stories about Tucky and a lot of funny ones.
“He was one of those players that you loved to spend time with because there would always be a story come out of that.”