Eddie's emotional tribute to 'brave' Frawley
Eddie McGuire has given a touching tribute to Danny Frawley and his incredible legacy raising awareness for mental health.
Eddie McGuire has given a touching tribute to Danny Frawley and his incredible legacy raising awareness for mental health as the AFL community prepare to farewell the St Kilda legend in Melbourne today. Friends and family will be at a private funeral service at Kingston Town Hall on Wednesday at 3pm to remember Frawley following his untimely passing last week, in a car accident near Ballarat a day after his 56th birthday. The service will be live-streamed and at Moorabbin Oval members of the public can view it on the big screens, with a lap of honour with Frawley's hearse scheduled for 5pm. Frawley, survived by his wife Anita and their three daughters, Chelsea, Danielle and Keeley, his mother and five siblings, is remembered not just for his achievements on the footy field, but also for speaking up about men's mental health issues, and the personal struggle he experienced throughout his life. 'WE MISS YOU': FRAWLEY'S WIFE PENS EMOTIONAL LETTER McGuire will be one of Frawley's friends and colleagues in attendance at the funeral, and on the Today show on Wednesday morning, he gave a heartfelt message about Frawley's legacy. "I think today will be..we've all shed our tears, we've cried ourselves out, let's now move forward and remember the lessons that Danny gave us about mental health and also about having a good time and making the most of situations," McGuire said. "He was a wonderful man. He passed one day after his 56th birthday as we all know that's far too young, but gee he left an impression in those 56 years and one day." McGuire said he and Frawley were good friends when the St Kilda great began his coaching career. But McGuire said there was more to Frawley than just footy, and it was because of this that he was so beloved. "There's been so much written and spoken about Danny because he was so much to so many people," McGuire said. "We became friends along the journey. He ended up being an assistant coach at Collingwood when I became the president, he then began coaching the Tigers. "In the media he's been a colleague for years and then the work he did with the coach's association. "He had this dichotomy about him where he was sometimes seen to be playing the Lou Richards role if you like, as the court jester of media and football, but at the same time he was a serious, serious man. "A couple of weeks wouldn't go by without Danny calling up with a suggestion to help the mental health of young footballers or how we could help country footballers, being a great Ballarat boy [himself]. "He was always full of great ideas and striving to make people's lives so much better." McGuire revealed that on Triple M on Wednesday morning a caller told of another memory of Frawley which summed up his selflessness. "Even this morning on our radio show we received word of a time he was walking up the beach one day and a woman's three kids were in the water, she didn't know who he was, asked for help and Danny stripped off, dived in, pulled the three kids out and walked on," McGuire said. "Those things happened all the time. Danny was a man who gave so much of himself for everybody else. "I think that's why today we're all emerging from the fog of the news of last week - did we all do enough? Could we have done more? "And I think we've all settled on the situation that mental health is such an insidious disease that we just have to help people get through it, and use Danny as an example, and continue to, because he was so brave in talking about his situation." Frawley, who was affectionately nicknamed 'Spud' after growing up on a potato farm near Ballarat, was left flowers, cards, scarves, guernseys and even potatoes in his honour at St Kilda's headquarters since the news of his tragic death. His advocacy for regional Australia and its footy players was renowned in the AFL community, and McGuire said that too will be something he is remembered for. "It's a big country family. We know the situation particularly for farmers and for men at the moment with the suicide rates. I think again in this moment of absolute tragedy, that they are looking out for other people, and that is going to be the legacy of Danny," McGuire said. "Today there will be tears, there's no doubt about that, how could there not when we think about our great friend, and with the family and the eulogies that will be given. But also there'll be a sense of hope. "People have been asked to wear blue today for Beyond Blue and the weather forecast for Melbourne is pure blue skies. "The blue sky will be right above everybody, and as we look to the heavens, it's quite symbolic." Frawley's wife released a statement on Monday continuing her husband's mental health campaign in an emotional letter which also confirmed he had been struggling in the lead-up to his death. "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," she wrote . "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. "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'." The Frawley family requested that anyone wanting to send flowers to the family or for the funeral, instead make a donation to Beyond Blue. If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.