Danny Frawley's touching gesture for AFL coach weeks before death

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Mark Ricciuto has revealed how Danny Frawley called him to check on Don Pyke just weeks before his death.

Frawley was the former chief executive of the AFL Coaches Association and took it upon himself to check on Pyke’s welfare after Adelaide’s disappointing season.

‘HE DIDN’T SHOW’: Heartbreaking details about Frawley's final days

‘I’M LOST’: Adam Treloar's regret over Danny Frawley tragedy

Crows coach Pyke has been heavily criticised in the aftermath of his side’s below-par showing in 2019.

“He rang me the last couple of weeks to see how Pykey was going,” Adelaide board director Ricciuto told Triple M Radio on Tuesday.

Danny Frawley (R) called to check on Don Pyke. Image: Getty

“It was what he was like, always thinking of others and how they are getting along in their lives. It is hard to think he is not there anymore.

“It is hard to speak about him because it is so raw.”

Frawley, who bravely spoke out in recent years about his mental health issues, died on Monday when the ute he was driving hit a tree near Ballarat.

No one else was in the car at the time.

Frawley family ‘shocked and saddened’

Frawley is survived by his wife Anita and their three daughters, Chelsea, Danielle and Keeley, along with his mother and five siblings.

Family members said they were shocked and devastated by his death but reflected on his love for his family and his work to support those suffering mental health issues.

"The Frawley families are totally shocked and devastated by his passing, but Danny provided us with strength, good humour and unwavering support during his extraordinary life, memories which will be cherished and help us cope with his tragic death," the statement read.

"Danny made friends from all walks of life. He had a smile that would light up a room, an infectious laugh and an easy charm that made people feel good about themselves. He genuinely liked and cared about people and they loved him back.

Danny Frawley at the Peter Mac Cup Breakfast in 2015. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

"Danny was to all who knew him a caring, loyal, selfless, loving person who would always put others first before himself and, aside from his work in football and media, he worked hard to use his profile to remove the stigma associated with depression and encouraged acceptance and support for those who suffered with mental health issues."

Frawley made his mark on the AFL in a number of roles, including as St Kilda captain, Richmond coach and, more recently, as a media personality.

The family had been "overwhelmed" by community support.

"We would like to sincerely thank everyone for the outpouring of love and kindness at this time," the statement said.

"We are overwhelmed by the messages of support following his death. We are humbled, proud and incredibly touched."

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.

with AAP