The daughter of AFL great Danny Frawley has recalled the devastating day she learned that her famous father had died.
In an emotional interview with Koin.com, Keeley Frawley, who plays basketball for the University of Portland in the US, has gone into incredible detail about the moment she was in her dormitory and received a phone call from her mother, Anita.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Gary Ablett Sr the latest AFL great to reveal concussion battle.
Analysis, local footy and the biggest moments, Seven and 7plus are the home of footy shows for every fan. Stream them all for free on 7plus >>
Danny Frawley was suffering from the neurological disorder, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, at the time of his sudden death in 2019.
He was 56 years old when he died in a car crash near Ballarat. It was later confirmed as suicide.
Keeley was in the US and had just started her ‘freshmen’ year at Portland.
“I just get the phone, and my mum’s on the phone on the other side, and she’s crying, and I don’t know what’s happening,” an emotional Keeley said.
“I’m like, ‘Just tell me, is everything OK? Is everything OK?’ My mum couldn’t say anything. She was just speechless. She was just crying. My sister grabbed the phone and told me, ‘Keeks, dad has passed away. Dad’s passed away.’ I remember throwing the phone and shaking and saying, ‘It’s not real. Where is he? What hospital is he at? It’s not real.’”
Keeley plans to honour her father this season by wearing the No.2.
It is the number Danny Frawley made famous when playing for St Kilda.
Danny played 240 games for the Saints and was one of the all-time great defenders.
“Growing up I always got told that I’m mini him. Honestly, it annoyed me at the time hearing that. I was like, ‘I’m so not like my father. He’s big and gross,’ and I just hated that. But now that people say that, I couldn’t be more proud and happy to be the mini replica of him.”
Keeley said she texted her father after his 56th birthday and to tell him she loved him.
A day later Frawley was dead.
“I’m just so happy that I got to send that message to let him know … I feel like he would be really proud of me and just look at me with his cheeky smile and say, ‘I’m so proud of you, Keekers.’,” she said.
The Frawley family have done an incredible job to create awareness around mental health since Danny’s death.
The family donated Danny’s brain to the Australian Sports Brain Bank and the Danny Frawley Centre for Health and Wellbeing was opened at St Kilda’s home base at RSEA Park.
But concussion injuries have become a growing issue for the AFL in recent years.
Just last Tuesday, a class action was lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court by Margalit Injury Lawyers on behalf of 60 past players seeking compensation from the AFL for their head injuries.
It was also revealed during the week that another class action could have more than 200 players involved.
AFL legend Gary Ablett Sr has also opened up on his health battles due to concussion after suffering from headaches and mood swings.
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your .