Phil Walsh Adelaide Crows coach killed at home - son arrested

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Media captionAccording to Michael Felgate, an AFL reporter for Seven News, Phil Walsh was a "peerless" tactician

Phil Walsh, the coach of the Australian Football League's Adelaide Crows, has been found stabbed to death at his home, South Australia Police say.

Officers had been called after a domestic dispute in the early hours of Friday. Mr Walsh, 55, was treated for knife injuries but died at the scene.

Mr Walsh's 26-year-old son has been arrested and charged with murder.

Mr Walsh's wife, Meredith, was taken to hospital after receiving non-life threatening injuries.

Police said that Mr Walsh had been stabbed multiple times and a knife was found at the scene.

"There's been an argument, I can't tell you anything about the argument... but as a result of that both Mr Walsh and his wife received a wound and the wound ultimately caused Mr Walsh's death," a South Australia detective told reporters.

Image copyright Getty Images

Analysis: Wendy Frew, BBC Australia Editor, Sydney

Australia is known as a sports-loving nation but Australian Rules' fans love the game and their clubs like no other.

Aussie Rules, as it is known here, attracts bigger crowds than any other sport in the country, and it's got the nation's biggest stadium, the much-loved Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The state of Victoria is the heartland of a game where "big men fly", leaping in the air for the ball, sometimes climbing on the back of each other to do it.

South Australia - from where Phil Walsh hailed - loves the game too, with the Crows and Port Adelaide clubs dominating over the years.

Points are scored by kicking the ball between tall goal posts.

It's something fans are proud of, dismissing Rugby League football, which dominates in the states of New South Wales and Queensland, as nothing more than "hand ball".

#Weflyasone - social media pays tribute to Walsh

Police said the son, named as Cy Walsh by local media, had been living with his parents. He arrived home at about 02:00 local time (16:30 GMT on Thursday) and there was an argument.

Someone in the house called emergency services, who then called the police, said South Australian Police Superintendent Des Bray.

The son fled the incident but was found and detained for a psychiatric assessment. He is under police guard in hospital.

They are now gathering information from neighbours in Somerton Park, a seaside suburb of Adelaide.

Local media report that Adelaide Crows players have been gathering at the club's headquarters.

The team was scheduled to play Geelong on Sunday afternoon but the Australian Football League said on Friday the game would not go ahead.

It said it would not be fair to ask the team members to play "in these circumstances".

There would no rescheduling of other games in this year's AFL competition.

Phil Walsh's AFL career

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Image caption Phil Walsh played for several Australian Rules teams before starting his coaching career
  • Played 122 top-level games for the Collingwood, Richmond and Brisbane clubs between 1983 and 1987.
  • In 1995, he became the fitness co-ordinator at Victoria's Geelong club before moving to Port Adelaide in 1999 as assistant coach.
  • He was awarded the AFL Coaches Association award for assistant coach of the year in 2004 following Port Adelaide's premiership win.
  • He became assistant coach to the West Coast football team in 2009 but made a return to Port Adelaide as an assistant coach in 2014.
  • He was appointed head coach of the Adelaide Crows for the 2015 season.

People have begun laying flowers outside the Adelaide Football Club in memory of Mr Walsh.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fans have paid tribute to Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh with flowers and club colours

The club said in a statement it was devastated by his sudden death.

"We ask if you could please respect the privacy of his family, as well as our players, coaches and staff, at this extremely difficult time," the club said.

Mr Walsh was formerly an Australian Rules footballer, playing for several clubs before starting his coaching career.

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