Heartbroken family farewells AFL great Shane Tuck, who died aged 38

Jul 29, 2020
The AFL great passed away last week after losing his battle with depression. Source: Getty.

Shane Tuck’s heartbroken family bid an emotional farewell to the AFL legend at his funeral on Tuesday, after he tragically lost his battle with depression. Shane, the son of Hawthorn legend Michael Tuck, was found dead last week at the age of 38.

Shane’s wife Katherine was visibly distraught as she took the stand to pay tribute to her husband and vowed to keep his memory alive with their two young children.

“I know that you have the peace and contentedness and calm that this life didn’t afford you in the end, and that your suffering has stopped and that you were so strong,” Katherine said. “We know that your two biggest achievements were [son] Will and [daughter] Ava and I will keep your memory living on in their lives. Like the song ‘Forever Young’ that we danced to at our wedding, you will remain forever young in our hearts.”

Numbers at the funeral were capped due to coronavirus restrictions but that didn’t stop an outpouring of love for Shane, who was known as one of AFL’s most respected players thanks to the toughness he showed on the field.

Shane’s dad Michael, who was a former AFL games record holder until 2016, also took the stand, clutching his chest as he tried to speak. He was accompanied by his daughter and Tuck’s sister Renee who encouraged him to take his time as he spoke about his son.

“I’d just like to thank all the people who have spoken highly of Shane,” Michael said. “Very much respected… Shane was a very good boy. I’ll miss him very, very much.”

Renee also spoke about her late-brother, and said: “Shane adored his mum and dad and said to me in his final days how lucky we were to have such wonderful parents, such wonderful people as our parents. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hand sat rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us he only takes the best.”

Tuck was originally drafted as the 24th pick of the 2000 Rookie Draft to Hawthorn — the club his famous father played all his games for — before being released in 2002 and reviving his career in the SANFL where he was picked up by the Tigers with the 74th pick of the 2003 National Draft. He then quickly became a key player in Richmond’s midfield for over a decade, playing 173 games before he retired the sport in 2013.

Tributes have since flooded in from the rest of the AFL world with Shane’s former Richmond coach Terry Wallace saying last week: “It’s just devastating news and I feel so much for the family, his teammates and those around him. He was such a lovely guy. I couldn’t speak more volumes about him. He was the typical country lad. Such a loyal guy, he couldn’t have been any more loyal to me. A very, very, loveable person and one of the great characters around that football club at the time.”

If you or anyone you know needs help: Lifeline — 13 11 14; MensLine Australia — 1300 789 978; BeyondBlue — 1300 224 636; Suicide Call Back Service — 1300 659 467; Headspace — 1800 650 890; Kids Helpline — 1800 551 800

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