Son stabs his father

Published 1:51 am Friday, July 3, 2015

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — The Australian Football League was left in shock Friday after Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh was stabbed to death in a domestic dispute at his home. His 26-year-old son was arrested and later charged with murder.

Police said in a statement they “can confirm that the man murdered at Somerton Park in the early hours of the morning is Phil Walsh, coach of the Adelaide Crows.”

Walsh, 55, died at the scene despite attempts by ambulance officers. His wife, Meredith, was in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Walsh was a former Australian Rules player, and coach at Adelaide since 2014.

Police Superintendent Des Bray said there had been an argument inside the family home.

“I can’t tell you anything about the argument or the circumstances, but as a result of that both Mr. Walsh and his wife received the wounds,” Supt. Bray said.

The son, whose name was not immediately disclosed, was to face a bedside hearing to the murder charge later on Friday at the hospital where he was being held for psychiatric assessment.

A knife used in the attack was found at the scene.

Supt. Bray said they had not yet spoken to the son, who lived with his parents.

“As the investigation unfolds I’m sure we will find out exactly what happened, but at the moment … it would be inappropriate for me to speculate on what may or may not have happened,” he said.

Shocked Crows players were arriving Friday morning at Adelaide Oval, where the team is scheduled to play Geelong on Sunday. There was no immediate word from the AFL whether the game would be postponed, although the Crows scheduled a media conference for later Friday.

Former Richmond player and Nine Network television commentator Nathan Brown said the death would impact many AFL clubs.

“He played for Collingwood, he played for Brisbane. He’s been at West Coast, he’s been at half the AFL clubs,” Brown said. “This is going to touch so many people.”

Walsh played 122 games in the Victorian Football League, the forerunner to the AFL, for Collingwood, Richmond and the Brisbane Bears between 1983 and 1990.

He started out as a strength and conditioning coach at Geelong in his post-playing career before becoming assistant coach at Port Adelaide in 1999, where he helped the Power win the 2004 premiership.

He moved to the West Coast Eagles as assistant coach in 2009 before returning to the Power in early 2014. He was appointed Crows coach in the 2014 off-season, replacing the fired Brenton Sanderson.

In an interview in April, Walsh said his focus on his career had impacted on his family life. He had been a player and coach for more than 33 years.

“I just immersed myself, got consumed and was selfish with as much time I committed to footy,” he said. “I lost that connection and I’m trying to reconnect with my son, which I have done.”

By midday Friday, a steady flow of tributes were being left at the doors of the Adelaide Football Club headquarters in the Adelaide suburb of West Lakes. Crows supporters brought flowers and cards and paused to pay their respects, while some fans left Crows’ uniforms and scarves.