Tributes have poured in for Ballarat legend of sport and community Danny Frawley.
Members of the Ballarat community are remembering the AFL legend as a 'compassionate', 'humble' and 'fun' man who had an amazing ability to connect people.
Frawley, 56, was killed in a single-car crash near Gordon on Monday afternoon.
The father of three was driving a white utility on Old Melbourne Road near Millbrook about 1.30pm before it left the road and hit a tree.
He is going to be sadly missed and leaves a big hole in everyone's heart.Andrew Maher, Bungaree Football Netball Club president
Frawley is well-known as the second longest-serving captain at St Kilda, Saints Hall of Fame member and former Richmond coach.
But his Bungaree roots lie in the name 'Spud', a nickname he earned during an early career as a potato farmer, following in the footsteps of his father and grandparents who were also potato farmers in Bungaree.
Frawley completed his schooling at St Patrick's College between 1976 and 1979, before being recruited to the AFL and making his debut with St Kilda in 1984 where he played 240 games, including 177 as a captain.
"The St Patrick's College community is devastated by the tragic death of Old Collegian and inducted College Legend Danny Frawley," the college said in a statement.
Frawley was heavily involved in the Ballarat community for a number of causes and organisations, including the Bungaree Football Club.
Bungaree Football Netball Club president Andrew Maher said Frawley was an 'intregral' part of the community.
"He is going to be sadly missed and leaves a big hole in everyone's heart. We just wish him and his family our deepest condolences," he said.
"Hopefully we can honour this great man for years and years to come as we have in the football club."
In 2007 Frawley was inducted into the Ballarat Sports Hall of Fame.
A Bungaree Football Club pavillion was named in his honour in 2013.
Bungaree Football Netball Club vice-president Heath Boyd said the club was devastated.
"Everyone knows Bungaree because of Danny," he said.
"The club wants to give our condolences to Frawley family. They've been a huge part of our footy family, and we're thinking of them. He was just a very, very nice guy."
Bungaree Primary School principal Catherine Barnes and School Council presdient David Lee said "the school community is saddened and mourns tonight with many, with the passing today of Bungaree legend, Danny Frawley".
"Our thoughts are with the entire Frawley family and our community at this time.
"Danny espoused a wonderful spirit of community and will be remembered for his warm regard for Bungaree. Tomorrow, the flag of Bungaree Primary School will be flown at half-mast. Vale, Danny."
Ballarat and District Trotting Club chief executive Paul Rowse said Frawley was a great friend of the club.
"The Frawley family is synonymous with harness racing, and our thoughts go to the family," he said.
Frawley was on the board of Harness Racing Victoria, and had a long involvement with the sport in Ballarat.
He was also an advocate for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute as a patron for the Ballarat Cycle Classic, marrying his passion for community and sport and fitness.
Committee for Ballarat chief executive and former colleague of Frawley Michael Poulton said Frawley was 'compassionate, humble and simply great fun'.
"Danny was the CEO of the AFL Coaches Association when I worked with him from Sept 2012 to Feb 2014. Coming to work each day was an absolute joy as he was always so full of life and gave all he had to helping AFL coaches," he said.
"He could make you laugh at almost anything and he had an amazing ability to connect people and make them feel special.
"Danny the footballer was as hard as they come; Danny the individual, colleague and friend, was compassionate, humble and simply great fun."
Frawley is survived by his wife Anita, daughters Chelsea, Danielle and Keeley, mother Shirley and an extensive network of extended family and friends.
Frawley had spoken candidly about his battle with mental health during past years.
He was popular as a speaker, where he would share stories of leadership, men's health and his battles with depression and anxiety.
Superintendent Jenny Wilson said on Monday evening the cause of the crash was not yet known.
She said forensic investigations into the cause of the crash would continue and police would prepare a brief for the coroner.
"Our thoughts are with the next of kin and the family members and community that will be impacted," she said.
"All in all it's another tragic event for the community."
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