The football world was shocked to wake this morning to the tragic news that Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh had passed away.

Walsh worked with the Cats 1995-99 as fitness coach under Gary Ayres, before embarking on a journey that ultimately saw him become Crows senior coach this season.

The club issued the following statement today in relation to Phil’s passing.

“The news of Phil Walsh’s passing has shocked everyone at the Geelong Football Club and the entire football community. Our thoughts at this time are with Phil’s family, friends, colleagues and associates. We cannot imagine the grief and pain that they are feeling.

“Phil enjoyed a long career in the game, and spent a significant period with us during the 1990s. Those that know Phil from that time have fond memories and speak highly of him in both a personal and professional sense. He made a mark at the club and we are proud that part of his journey included a time at Geelong.”

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Phil Walsh as the Cats runner in 1995