Former AFL Player Cam McCarthy Dies at 29

Former AFL player Cam McCarthy, 29, has died at a house in Perth, with police treating his death as non-suspicious. The AFL community has paid tribute to McCarthy, remembering him for his unique personality and struggles with mental health and homesickness.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Former AFL Player Cam McCarthy Dies at 29

Former AFL Player Cam McCarthy Dies at 29

Cam McCarthy, a former Australian Football League (AFL) player known as "Dardy McCrafty," has tragically passed away at the age of 29. McCarthy's body was found unresponsive at a house in Lake Coogee, Perth, on Thursday, with police treating his death as non-suspicious.

The AFL community has paid tribute to McCarthy, remembering him for his unique personality and struggles with mental health and homesickness during his career. The GWS Giants and Essendon Bombers held a ceremony before their match on Saturday at Marvel Stadium, with players from both teams and the umpires lining up in the middle of the ground as an image of McCarthy smiling alongside former coach Leon Cameron was shown on the big screen.

The Fremantle Dockers, where McCarthy played 49 games, also held an emotional ceremony before their match against the Sydney Swans on Friday night at Optus Stadium. Jesse Hogan, who played alongside McCarthy at the Dockers, made his own tribute after kicking a goal in the first quarter, tapping the black armband on his left arm. Commentator Anthony Hudson noted the gesture "meant something pretty special to him."

McCarthy's former teammates and clubs have shared heartfelt tributes, describing him as "one of the all-timers" and "one of the kindest souls." Fremantle's Luke Ryan wrote, "Love you brother, rest easy." Brennan Cox said McCarthy was "one of the best, most genuine humans." GWS Giants players Zac Williams and Toby Greene also expressed their condolences.

McCarthy was drafted out of Western Australia in 2013 and played 21 games for the GWS Giants during their formative years. He struggled with homesickness and mental health issues, which led him to seek a trade home to Perth in 2015. He eventually joined the Fremantle Dockers, playing 49 games for the club over four seasons. McCarthy was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2020 after a collapse at training and had another stint with his original WAFL club East Fremantle in 2021-22.

Fremantle CEO Simon Garlick extended the club's deepest sympathies to McCarthy's family, while GWS Giants boss Dave Matthews remembered McCarthy as having "great energy" and being "a much-loved member" of the club during his time there. The tragic loss of McCarthy at such a young age has left the AFL community in mourning, as they remember a unique personality who struggled with the challenges that many young players face.

Key Takeaways

  • Cam McCarthy, 29, former AFL player, found dead at home in Perth.
  • Death treated as non-suspicious; AFL community pays tribute.
  • McCarthy played for GWS Giants and Fremantle Dockers, 70 games total.
  • He struggled with mental health, homesickness, and epilepsy.
  • Tributes pour in from teammates, clubs, and commentators.