Rival players arm-in-arm as the MCG falls silent 31



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It was a heartbreaking moment of unity after a tough match; rival players forgot their differences and threaded their teams together  to stand, arm-in-arm in support of their fellow players in Adelaide.

The Hawthorn-Collingwood clash started with a minute’s silence last night to honour Crows coach Phil Walsh, allegedly murdered by his son less than 24 hours before, and the 750,000-strong crowd fell silent.

But it was the players’ gesture at the end of the game that really tugged on the heartstrings. Dirty, bruised and – for the Collingwood players – defeated, both teams set aside their decades-long rivalry and formed a circle to show solidarity with the Crows.

The moving gesture was organised by the coaches; the players weren’t aware of the plan.

“We said [to the respective captains], at the end of the game, win, lose or draw, let’s get together and show even that we’d been fierce warriors playing against each other… we’d come together as one, acknowledge Phil and show the footy world we are going to mourn together,” said coach Alastair Clarkson

This echoes the sentiment of the chairman of the Adelaide Crows, Rob Chapman, who yesterday said, “Today, frankly has been all about and is going to be all about wrapping our arms around the Adelaide Football Club community, in particular Meredith, Phil’s wife and his family.”

Last night, we reported that AFL fans all over the country were putting their scarves out to show their solidarity.

Mr Walsh was only 55 and had just reached the pinnacle of his career as a head coach. It’s believed his son, who may have problems with drugs, stabbed him to death in his home in the early hours of Friday morning.

Sunday’s game between Geelong and the Crows has been cancelled.

Did you see last night’s game? Did you find the players’ tribute moving? 




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  1. The biggest threat in this country is domestic violence, it crosses all barriers, rich and poor are affected, so very very sorry to wife and family of Phil Walsh all this must be devastating for them

  2. Very hard to comprehend, sooo sad to watch, but a tribute to the hardworking coach and players standing in silence in solidarity , it’s humbling , condolences to his family, great loss to the footie family, rest in peace.

  3. What a moving tribute this was after a great game. There are no words to express people’s feelings at this terrible time. Condolences and prayers for the family of Phil Walsh, the football community and his many friends. May he rest in peace.

  4. The match itself was a wonderful tribute to a man of great determination but the tribute at the end was an eye burner. Vale, Phil Walsh.

  5. They were not dirty, bruised or bloody, it was before the game, media hype all over, grab the headlines on such a monuments sad occasion. Bloody beautiful tribute.

    3 REPLY
    • Sorry one sight said before and then another said after, I saw the one that said before…it was still a bloody beautiful tribute….

    • It was a minute silence before the game Judith and also together hug after game. Minute silence was exactly that, 72,000 silent football supporters. I was one of them.

  6. Judith Forbes, they did this AFTER the game as well as BEFORE the game. A very touching tribute organised by the two coaches involved.

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