AustraliaDanny Frawley's widow Anita says his mental health deteriorated in the lead up to his death and reveals the tragic turning point for AFL star
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The wife of AFL star Danny Frawley has released an emotional statement revealing her husband's mental health had 'deteriorated' in the weeks before his death.
Danny Frawley died on Monday after his ute slammed into a tree near Ballarat in country Victoria, not far from the potato farm he grew up on, in a suspected suicide.
The 56-year-old was a 'champion of mental health', his wife said, and had been open about his battle with depression in the past.
Heartbroken newsreader Neroli Meadows' voice cracks as she announces news of Danny Frawley's tragic death - before Tony Jones fights back tears and reveals what the St Kilda legend's final message would be
The St Kilda legend and former Richmond coach was killed when his vehicle slammed into a tree near Ballarat, Victoria, just before 1.30pm on Monday, a day after his 56th birthday.
His wife said it was in this spirit she had chosen to comment on his death, and what had been going on in the months prior.
'The road leading up to last Monday's events began eight months ago when Danny made the decision to take himself off his prescribed medication,' she wrote.
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'At this point Danny felt invincible, like the true competitor and proud man that he was; he felt that he had beaten the disease.
'In fact, he felt bullet proof, which contributed to his decision to remove himself from his support network including his psychiatric care and not continuing to work with his team of mental health professionals.'
Mrs Frawley praised her late husband for his bravery in being able to 'put his hand up' and ask for help when he needed it, but said his deterioration was a stark warning to others.
Mr Frawley was open about his battle with depression and first took time off and sought help for it in 2014.
She said she had decided to speak publicly as she wanted Mr Frawley's death to be a reminder to those dealing with mental health conditions, especially those who were feeling better.
REVEALED: Depressed AFL icon Danny Frawley 'skipped a session with his psychiatrist on the day he died - and he didn't show up for a family get together to celebrate his 56th birthday a day earlier'
New details have emerged about the harrowing and lonely final days of AFL great Danny Frawley, whose sudden death on Monday shocked the sporting world.
'You should always seek help from professionals when considering making decisions surrounding your mental health, even when you feel as though you have fully recovered,' she said.
Mr Frawley's family have been left devastated by their loss, but Mrs Frawley says the four women will cherish their final memory of him forever.
'Our final memory of Danny is one we will cherish forever, a night spent sitting around our family table, playing board games and laughing on his 56th birthday,' she wrote.
'He will never be forgotten and will forever be in our hearts.
'I would like to leave everyone with this quote from Danny, "manning up in the past was to suffer in silence, manning up now is to put your hand up".'
One of six children, Frawley was the former St Kilda captain and Richmond coach who built a successful post-playing career in the media, successfully combining astute game observations with his light-hearted persona.
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He played 240 games for St Kilda between 1984 and 1995 and was the club's longest serving captain until Nick Riewoldt eclipsed his record in 2014.
He coached Richmond from 2000 to 2004 and guided the Tigers to a preliminary final in 2001.
Frawley went on to commentate the AFL for Triple M, Fox Sports, SEN and the Nine Network - as well as work part-time as a defensive coach with his beloved Saints.
For confidential support call Lifeline: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au or Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636.
ANITA FRAWLEY STATEMENT ON DEATH OF HER HUSBAND DANNY
On Monday, the love of my life was tragically taken from my girls and I.
Many have speculated on the cause and lead up to this tragedy. Danny, as a champion of mental health would want me to continue his legacy and be open with the public of the events leading up to this heartbreak.
While the circumstances of the event are unconfirmed and will remain uncertain until the investigations are complete, it was true that Danny's mental health had deteriorated in recent weeks.
As is widely known, Danny had experienced and lived with depression dating back a number of years. But to his credit, he had put up his hand and accepted psychiatric treatment, counselling and medication. He recovered and returned to being the Danny of old.
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The road leading up to last Monday's events began 8 months ago when Danny made the decision to take himself off his prescribed medication. At this point Danny felt invincible, like the true competitor and proud man that he was; he felt that he had beaten the disease. In fact, he felt bullet proof, which contributed to his decision to remove himself from his support network including his psychiatric care and not continuing to work with his team of mental health professionals.
The reason I am making this public is that I want this to be a reminder to all those grappling with mental health conditions and to those whom have made progress with their wellbeing that you should always seek help from professionals when considering making decisions surrounding your mental health, even when you feel as though you have fully recovered.
Our final memory of Danny is one we will cherish forever, a night spent sitting around our family table, playing board games and laughing on his 56th birthday. He will never be forgotten and will forever be in our hearts.
I would like to leave everyone with this quote from Danny, 'manning up in the past was to suffer in silence, manning up now is to put your hand up.'
We invite all those who would like to farewell our remarkable man to join us at RSEA Park — St Kilda Football Club, 32/60 Linton St, Moorabbin, VIC, 3189 at 3pm on Wednesday the 18th of September.
We will be wearing a touch of blue in memory of Danny and for the significance of beyondblue, PukaUp and One In Five. To show your condolences, we ask that you please donate to beyondblue in honour of Danny.
Danny Frawley: AFL legend, loving husband and father farewelled.
Danny 'Spud' Frawley has been remembered by family and friends as a 'loving husband and father' who threw himself into life, inspiring so many along the way .The St Kilda captain, Richmond coach, potato farmer, trots owner and media personality was honoured at a private service today held at the Kingston Town Hall in Moorabbin, with hundreds in attendance. His number two jersey sat prominently on stage. © AAP Jason Dunstall (right) and Garry Lyon (second from right) arrives for a memorial for Danny Frawley at Kingston Town Hall, Moorabbin.