Michael Tuck has opened up about the death of son Shane Tuck, saying his family is in “shock and pain.”
Former Richmond player Shane died on Monday morning at the age of 38, leaving behind wife Kat and children Will and Ava.
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Tuck played 173 games for the Tigers before retiring in 2013 and was a life member of the club.
As the AFL community continues to come to terms with the tragic news, Shane’s father Michael has detailed his son’s devastating struggle.
“He was a big, strong kid and he just had a few issues and he couldn’t get rid of them and that was the only way out,” Michael told the Herald Sun.
“A lot of men think they’re alright and they’re actually not, and the best help they can get is telling people actually how bad they are, and not saying, ‘I’m alright, I’m alright’.
“It was bit like that (with Shane), he kept it all in because he was a tough, strong man. But you’ve got to show … it’s not a weakness, it’s just to express yourself with honesty and don’t try to cover up things.
“He didn’t mean anything by it, he just couldn’t admit he had a real bad problem.”
Michael Tuck was the former individual games record holder with 426 appearances for Hawthorn.
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 said he is trying to remember all the good times with his son to help him cope, saying his family will “never get over him.”
AFL world shattered by death of Shane Tuck
On Monday 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.”
An extremely brave and courageous warrior on-field. A big-hearted character off the field.
You will be missed enormously by everyone, Tucky 💛
— Richmond FC 🐯🏆 (@Richmond_FC) July 20, 2020
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.
“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.”
RIP Tucky. Forever a Richmond man. https://t.co/beTkZx7zxt
— Shaun Grigg (@ShaunGrigg6) July 20, 2020
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. Kb
— Kevin Bartlett (@KevinBartlett29) July 20, 2020
Thoughts with the Tuck and extended family tonight. As a teammate Shane gave everything. What more can u ask. ❤️ https://t.co/7b5eBPjEyD
— Matthew Richardson (@mattricho0) July 20, 2020
Tuck was on Hawthorn's list for three years before earning a spot at Richmond via the SANFL, and later turned his hand to boxing.
Richmond will pay tribute to Tuck by wearing black armbands during Friday night's match against Greater Western Sydney.