Sydney: The coach of the Australian Football League`s Adelaide Crows was stabbed to death in his home on Friday with his son charged with the murder, sending shockwaves through the sport.
Phil Walsh, 55, who turned to coaching after a long playing career in the hugely popular game better known as Aussie Rules, was killed during a bloody domestic dispute that also left his wife injured.
He was treated at the scene by paramedics, after police were called to his home in the Adelaide suburb of Somerton Park in the early hours of the morning but were unable to save him.
"Police can confirm that the man murdered at Somerton Park in the early hours of the morning is Phil Walsh, coach of the Adelaide Crows and his son, aged 26, has been charged with murder," police said in a statement.
"Ambulance crews treated a seriously injured 55-year-old, but sadly he died at the scene."
Walsh`s wife, Meredith, was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, reportedly a leg wound.
Superintendent Des Bray told reporters outside Walsh`s home that there had been an argument.
"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," Bray said, adding that a knife was used and had been recovered.
Asked what injuries Walsh received, Bray said: "Multiple stab wounds."
"For any family, regardless of who it is, it`s one of the worst things that you could imagine that could happen to you." he added.
The son, Cy, was undergoing a mental health assessment and was expected to face a bedside hearing later in the day.The Crows were scheduled to play Geelong on Sunday afternoon, but it is not clear whether the match will now take place, with AFL chiefs holding an emergency meeting.
"Our industry is grieving today," AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said in a statement. "Phil Walsh was a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm, and his death is a tragic loss."
The Adelaide Crows said the club was "devastated" and that it was "an extremely difficult time" as players converged on the team`s headquarters to grieve.
AFL is hugely popular in Australia, with 18 teams from around the country competing in the top tier. First launched in 1897, it is one of the nation`s best-attended sports.
Walsh played 122 games for Collingwood, Richmond and the Brisbane Bears between 1983 and 1990 before turning to coaching. His death has reverberated through the game.
"I`m shocked," said Nathan Brown, former Richmond player and Nine Network commentator.
"This is going to touch so many people."
The AFL Players` Association released a statement expressing its "deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Adelaide coach Phil Walsh".
Social media also lit up with tributes and tweets for the popular sportsman.
"What a tragedy. A great man lost. Thoughts and prayers are with his family. #RIPPhilWalsh," tweeted St Kilda coach Alan Richardson.
Melbourne captain Nathan Jones added: "In complete shock. Absolutely devastating news."