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July 3, 2015 12:30 PM

Phil Walsh, Senior Coach of the Crows looks on during the AFL Season Launch at Peninsula, Melbourne on March 25, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Phil Walsh, Senior Coach of the Crows looks on during the AFL Season Launch at Peninsula, Melbourne on March 25, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan this morning has expressed his shock and grief at the death of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh.

“Our industry is grieving today, and we send our love and support to the Walsh family, the Crows staff and players, Phil’s wider circle of friends, the other clubs he worked with, and his many colleagues across the AFL.

“Phil Walsh was a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm, and his death is a tragic loss.”

AFL Coaches Association Chairman John Worsfold reflected on Phil’s passion for the game and its players: “Leaders are at their best when they are passionate about their role. Phil had an unbridled and authentic passion for the team, the players and for the game of AFL. His boundless energy and intricate footy brain were hallmarks of his coaching. He infected his players with his drive and vitality. We’ll miss him and never forget him. Walshy’s shining passion will be a legacy for all coaches.”

Port Adelaide Chairman David Koch said Phil had touched so many lives within the Port Adelaide family and that the entire club were in mourning at the news of his tragic death. “The entire Port Adelaide Football Club is deeply shocked to hear of Phil’s passing and our deepest condolences go to his wife Meredith, family, friends and colleagues,” Mr Koch said. “Equally, our thoughts and prayers are with the players, coaches and staff of the Adelaide Football Club and all of Phil’s past clubs.

“Phil was a much loved friend of the Port Adelaide Football Club having played an instrumental role in our 2004 Premiership campaign and also as our midfield manager last season. “Past and present players of Port Adelaide formed great friendships with Phil and supporting them through this most tragic time is our primary focus.”

The Geelong Football Club statement said: “Phil enjoyed a long career in the game, and spent a significant period with us during the 1990s. Those that know Phil from that time have fond memories and speak highly of him in both a personal and professional sense. He made a mark at the club and we are proud that part of his journey included a time at Geelong.”

West Coast Eagles Chief Executive Officer Trevor Nisbett said the club was numbed by the news. “It was both surreal and devastating to wake up to the news of Phil’s death this morning and it is difficult to process,” Mr Nisbett said. “Phil made an outstanding contribution to our club and was an important part of the West Coast family.