Home » Former Fremantle and GWS AFL player Cam McCarthy dies aged 29

Former Fremantle and GWS AFL player Cam McCarthy dies aged 29

Former Fremantle and GWS Giants player Cam McCarthy has died in Perth at the age of 29.

The talented forward was discovered by emergency services on Thursday night.

A statement from WA Police said: “About 6:15pm yesterday, Thursday 9 May 2024, emergency services were called to an address in Lake Coogee.

“Upon arrival, it was confirmed a 29-year-old male was deceased.

“The death is being treated as non-suspicious. A report will be prepared for the coroner.”

The AFL issued a statement on Friday afternoon saying it was “deeply saddened” by the news, and McCarthy was “well-loved”.

Chief executive Andrew Dillon said his organisation’s “deepest sympathies and thoughts are with the entire McCarthy family and Cam’s loved ones and friends, along with his former teammates”.

Fremantle chief executive Simon Garlick said his death was “tragic”, and extended the club’s condolences to McCarthy’s family, friends and teammates.

“Cam was a kind and easy-going person at the club, and he was someone who had a habit of making people smile and laugh. His talent was undeniable and he loved his footy.”

McCarthy kicked 99 goals in 70 AFL games after being selected by the Giants with pick 14 in the 2013 draft.

Giants chief executive David Matthews said the news has had a “profound impact” on current and former players and staff.

“Cam had great energy and was a much-loved member of our club for the seasons he was here,” he said. “He was very popular and a bright footballing talent.”

The West Australian requested a trade to Fremantle in his second season, citing homesickness, but the Giants initially rejected the Dockers’ trade offer.

Early in 2016, the Sydney club granted him indefinite leave to deal with “personal issues” and he returned to Perth.

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At the time, Matthews said McCarthy was “struggling to deal with the day to day demands of being an AFL footballer”.

The forward was eventually traded to Fremantle, the club he supported as a child, and ended up playing 49 games in purple. He was the Dockers’ leading goalkicker in 2017.

In 2020, Fremantle told him he would not be offered another contract, and he left the club not long after. He had been diagnosed with epilepsy earlier that year after he collapsed at a mid-season training session.

AFL Players’ Association chief executive Paul Marsh said “this is a terribly sad time” and that free and confidential access to wellbeing services was available to all members. “We encourage them to reach out should they require support.”

McCarthy is the third former Fremantle player to die recently, after Shane Yarran in 2018 and Harley Balic in 2022.

In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Children, young adults, parents and teachers can contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. Help for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is available on 13YARN on 13 92 76.