Adelaide Crows' AFL coach murdered in home, son arrested
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Players and team officials in the Australian Football League were in shock Friday after Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh was stabbed to death in a domestic dispute at his home. His 26-year-old son was arrested and later charged with murder.
Walsh, 55, died at the scene despite treatment by ambulance officers. His wife, Meredith, was in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Walsh, a former Australian Rules player and long-serving assistant coach at several clubs, was in his first season as Adelaide's head coach.
''This is a crisis unprecedented, there is no rule book, and we are dealing with it,'' Adelaide club chairman Rob Chapman said. ''The point is just to get people through today.''
Sunday's scheduled match in Adelaide against Geelong has been canceled, with the teams splitting the competition points. The other round 14 games will go ahead, with commemorations planned.
The son, Cy Walsh, faced a bedside hearing to the murder charge on Friday at the hospital where he was being held for psychiatric assessment - the same hospital where his mother is recovering from her injuries. Cy Walsh was remanded in custody until a hearing on Sept. 15.
A knife used in the attack was found at the house, where the son lived with his parents.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said ''the sorrow and the stress felt today touches many in our industry because Phil Walsh gave such a lot to our game.''
''He was a man of boundless energy, enthusiasm and great intelligence,'' McLachlan said. ''He was part of the AFL family for 32 years and there are not many words of comfort today for those who feel his terrible loss in these most difficult of circumstances.''
Walsh played 122 games in the Victorian Football League, the forerunner to the AFL, for Collingwood, Richmond and the Brisbane Bears between 1983 and 1990.
He started out as a strength and conditioning coach at Geelong in his post-playing career before becoming assistant coach at Port Adelaide in 1999, where he helped the Power win the 2004 premiership.
He moved to the West Coast Eagles as assistant coach in 2009 before returning to the Power in early 2014. He was appointed Crows coach in the 2014 off-season, replacing the fired Brenton Sanderson.
In an interview in April, Walsh said his focus on his career had impacted on his family life. He had been a player and coach for more than 33 years.
''I just immersed myself, got consumed and was selfish with as much time I committed to footy,'' he said. ''I lost that connection and I'm trying to reconnect with my son, which I have done.''
A steady flow of tributes were being left at the doors of the Adelaide Football Club headquarters throughout the day. Crows supporters brought flowers and cards and paused to pay their respects, while some fans left Crows' uniforms and scarves.