'Bloody horrible': AFL world reacts to death of Shane Tuck

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Shane Tuck and wife Kat, pictured here at the 2012 Brownlow Medal.
Shane Tuck and wife Kat at the 2012 Brownlow Medal. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The AFL community has been left devastated by the death of Richmond champion Shane Tuck, with an outpouring of grief following his tragic death.

Tuck died on Monday morning at the age of 38, leaving behind wife Kat and children Will and Ava.

Tuck, a strong and tough midfielder, played 173 games for the Tigers before retiring in 2013 and was a life member of the club.

‘MISSED YOU’: Gary Ablett's emotional reunion with son

‘TOO RISKY’: Concerns as 25,000 flock to AFL derby

Richmond 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.”

Tributes flow after death of Shane Tuck

As tributes flowed on Monday evening, 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.”

Former Richmond coach Terry Wallace was at the helm of the Tigers for 99 matches from 2005-09, and midfielder Tuck was the only player to feature in all of them.

Shane Tuck and Jack Riewoldt, pictured here in 2012 after a Richmond game.
Shane Tuck and Jack Riewoldt in 2012. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“He was just a very lovable person and one of the great characters around that football club at the time,” Wallace told SEN.

“He was not the best player you've ever seen but he was the epitome of honesty and the epitome of what people should love about their footy clubs.”

Richmond legend Kevin Bartlett wrote on Twitter: “So saddened by the passing of Shane Tuck.”

“We had some lovely conversations in the past as I was an admirer of the way he played with such commitment.

“When my daughter worked at Richmond she would always say he was the nicest person. Thinking of the Tuck family. RIP Shane.”

Shane Tuck was AFL family royalty

Richmond will pay tribute to Tuck by wearing black armbands during Friday night's match against Greater Western Sydney.

Shane Tuck and father Michael sit third on the list of most AFL/VFL games played by a father and son combination, with 599 between them.

Michael Tuck was the former individual games record holder with 426 appearances for Hawthorn.

Brother Travis also played for Hawthorn, while Gary Ablett Jr is his cousin - mother Fay is the sister of Gary Ablett Sr.

Shane Tuck was on Hawthorn's list for three years before earning a spot at Richmond via the SANFL.

“There is a lot of pressure, often very unfair, on these kids because their fathers played league football,” Hawks football manager John Hook said when Tuck was struggling to make it at Hawthorn.

“We try to keep it as low profile for them as we can because it’s bloody hard on them, all the expectations and all of that.’’

Tuck never played AFL for Hawthorn and was cut at 20 years old.

He 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.”

Tuck rediscovered his love for the game after a stint in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League, going on to become one of Richmond’s favourite sons.

With AAP

Readers seeking support and information can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.