Frawley at a pre-season match in March 2017
|Full name||Daniel Patrick Frawley|
|Date of birth||8 September 1963|
|Place of birth||Ballarat, Victoria, Australia|
|Date of death||9 September 2019(aged 56)|
|Place of death||Millbrook, Victoria, Australia|
|Height||191 cm (6 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||95 kg (209 lb)|
|1984–1995||St Kilda||240 (13)|
|Representative team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1995.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Daniel Patrick Frawley (8 September 1963 – 9 September 2019) was an Australian rules football player, coach, administrator, commentator and media personality. He captained the St Kilda Football Club for nine seasons over his 240-game playing career from 1984 to 1995, was the club's best and fairest winner in 1988 and was named in the All-Australian team the same year. Frawley coached Richmond for five seasons from 2000 until 2004, including to a preliminary final in 2001. He later was chief executive of the AFL Coaches Association. As a media personality, Frawley contributed as special commentator for Nine Network, Triple M, 1116 SEN and Fox Footy; he was also co-host of the Fox Footy program Bounce.
Frawley was recruited from Ballarat after attending St Patrick's College, Ballarat. He worked as a potato farmer in Bungaree, which led to his nickname of "Spud". He initially played as a forward but soon became a renowned full-back. He captained the St Kilda Football Club for nine seasons over his 240-game playing career from 1984 to 1995, was the club's best and fairest winner in 1988 and was named in the All-Australian team the same year. He was the longest serving captain of the St Kilda Football Club. He was inducted into the Saints' hall of fame in 2007.
Frawley became the senior coach of the Richmond Football Club in 2000. In his first year, Richmond just missed out of the finals by finishing ninth. In 2001, he took the Tigers into the finals where, in the preliminary finals, they were eliminated by the Brisbane Lions, who were the eventual premiers. Under Frawley, the club moved to fourth on the ladder and their first preliminary final since 1995. In 2002, however, Richmond struggled and finished 14th. This continued in 2003 when, after six wins and two losses to start to the season, they lost 13 of their next 14 matches. and finished 13th.
Richmond kept struggling and finished 16th (the "wooden spoon" position) in 2004. Midway through the season, Frawley announced that he would resign at the end of the season. Richmond lost their last 14 matches of the season. In 2008 and 2009, Frawley worked at Hawthorn as a part-time coach. He rejoined St Kilda as a back-line and key-position coach in November 2014.
After leaving coaching, Frawley was a special commentator for Triple M. In June 2006, he coached a winning Victorian state of origin side in the E. J. Whitten Legends Match and became the chief executive of the AFL Coaches Association. Later, and until 2018, Frawley was a part-time specialist defence coach at the St Kilda Football Club.
Before his coaching career, Frawley had been a regular cast member on AFL Squadron alongside Garry Lyon. When he transitioned to being a commentator primarily, Frawley was a commentator for Fox Footy and was a co-host of Bounce with Jason Dunstall and Cameron Mooney, as well as a part of the 1116 SEN Footy team on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. Earlier in his career, he was also involved with the Nine Network and Triple M as a commentator and a regular co-host on The Saturday Rub. He also hosted a Monday night show on SEN called No Man Should Ever Walk Alone on men's health topics including mental health, addiction and lifestyle.
Frawley was nicknamed "Spud", as he grew up on a potato farm at Bungaree, 15 kilometres east of Ballarat, and had spent his early days as a potato farmer. He was married to Anita Frawley, who was a host of the Fox Footy Channel's Living with Footballers show. They had three daughters. His brother, Tony Frawley, was the CEO of AFL Northern Territory for 10 years up until 2015, the governing body of the Northern Territory Football League competition.
On 9 September 2019, a day after his 56th birthday, Frawley died in a car crash in Millbrook, Victoria. The incident occurred shortly after 1:30 pm, when his car left the road and struck a tree on Old Melbourne Road between Ryans and Chapmans Roads. He was the only person in the car at the time and died at the scene of the crash. Victoria Police is treating his death as a suicide, pending the outcome of a coronial inquest.
The AFL announced that a moment of silence would be observed in Frawley's honour before both semifinals the following weekend (Geelong vs. West Coast and Brisbane vs. Greater Western Sydney), with all four teams also wearing black armbands. The Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders also observed a moment of silence for Frawley before their NRL qualifying final at AAMI Park. AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan also revealed that it was being considered that the Golden Fist award, an award for best defender that Frawley had famously created on Bounce, should become an official AFL honour. A Change.org petition about the matter had garnered 33,000 signatures in less than 48 hours.
Danny Frawley's death is a hammer blow to our community. Watching and reading and listening to all the reactions makes me think of the truism "The love you give is the love you get."
There's no solace at a time like this, but there is a collective embrace, and hopefully Anita and Chelsea, Danielle and Keeley can at least feel it. Danny was a great football person from the grassroots, to the top level. He belonged to many, from Bungaree to St Kilda and beyond.
In the media, he was a tremendous character, in the way that he gave of himself, to enhance your connection or enjoyment, and often at his own expense. He's done that for many years at Crocmedia and, in more recent times, on SEN. He maintained an infectious enthusiasm and vibrancy. It's the sort of thing people say, but you know that it's true, because you watched it and listened to it. When the footy got exciting, he was jumping, metaphorically and literally, all over the broadcast, and he could mangle the language in the most wonderful way. And I think he leaves us with "Yeah nah"...maybe it predates Danny, but he normalised it in our football world.
He was a latter day cyclist, in questionable Lycra, he was a hobby horse breeder, and he was an optimistic golfer. He was a friend to many, and I suspect you will feel that whether you knew him or not.
How footy touched his soul...well, that was evidence in the tears he shed for Teddy Whitten during that lap at the MCG, when he couldn't finish that famous induction speech for Tony Lockett and as he choked up honouring Trevor Barker just this year as he took his place in the Hall of Fame.
And now, those tears are for Spud.
[Plays When the Saints Go Marching In]They play that in the terraces at St Kilda games, and I suspect the next time it's done, it'll have additional poignancy and carry the images...
Both radio stations Frawley had worked at – Triple M and SEN – broadcast a special joint ion of The Saturday Rub in Frawley's honour, with his co-hosts James Brayshaw, Brian Taylor, Damian Barrett and Garry Lyon.
A private but broadcast memorial was held for Frawley, followed by the hearse travelling to Moorabbin Oval for a lap of honour.
In other news, North Ballarat general manager Tony Frawley, brother of former Richmond coach Danny Frawley, has been appointed chief executive officer with AFL Northern Territory, starting at the end of next month.
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