Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh was murdered Friday morning at his home in a case of domestic dispute, the South Australian Police said in a statement, according to media reports. The 55-year-old’s son has been reportedly arrested and charged with murder.
The incident, which shook the Australian Football League (AFL), occurred after police was called to respond to a domestic disturbance late Thursday night. Police reportedly found Phil with multiple stab wounds and also recovered a knife believed to be used in the attack. His wife, Meredith, was admitted to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Phil’s 26-year-old son, Cy Walsh, faced a bedside hearing to the murder charge as he was held at a hospital for psychiatric assessment.
"This is a crisis unprecedented, there is no rule book, and we are dealing with it," Rob Chapman, Adelaide club chairman, said, according to the Associated Press. "The point is just to get people through today."
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said: "The sorrow and the stress felt today touches many in our industry because Phil Walsh gave such a lot to our game.
"He was a man of boundless energy, enthusiasm and great intelligence," McLachlan reportedly said. "He was part of the AFL family for 32 years and there are not many words of comfort today for those who feel his terrible loss in these most difficult of circumstances."
Phil, former Australian Rules player and assistant coach at several clubs, was in his first season as Adelaide's head coach. The team was scheduled to play Geelong on Sunday afternoon, but AFL canceled the match saying that it would be unfair to ask the team members to play "in these circumstances."