North-West Coast duo Brendon Gale and Matthew Richardson have paid tribute to their former coach Danny Frawley, describing him as someone that made football enjoyable.
St Kilda legend Frawley, who died in a car crash near Bungaree in the Ballarat area on Monday, coached Gale and Richardson's Richmond from 2000-2004.
That was at the end of Gale's playing days, with the club's chief executive's final outing being the 2001 preliminary final loss to Brisbane at the Gabba.
"He was like a big brother to all of us,'' Gale said.
"Football clubs back then were about command and control and were quite regimented, but he really focused on relationships and he was ahead of his time with that.
"We really played for him, and he had a clear and coherent game plan and that was an enjoyable time for me, as I was approaching the end of my football mortality, and I do really appreciate those moments and he made Richmond really enjoyable.
"He's clearly beloved at St Kilda and an icon, but he had a real impact at Richmond."
Gale also knew Frawley, who played 240 games for the Saints and captained the club for nine seasons, the player quite well and described the full-back as a "powerful athlete who could run all day".
Richardson, who played 75 of his 282 games and kicked 206 of his 800 goals under Frawley, said that time was the most enjoyable of his career.
"Anyone that has ever known Danny or has been involved with him is just shattered, and we are just so sad for his wife (Anita) and his three daughters, and it is just so hard to comprehend,'' Richardson said.
"Just as a person he was such a charismatic figure and I have never ever not been around Danny Frawley where I haven't had a smile on my face and enjoyed his company and had a laugh.
"He made you feel better and you wanted to be around him and they were really an enjoyable few years as we played in a preliminary final and we had a group of guys who were all on the same page and all wanted to play for Danny because of the man he was."
Richardson said he hadn't been surprised by the outpouring of emotion following Frawley's death.
"It is the memory of him as a man and the way you wanted to be around him, that is what I am always going to remember as he just made you feel good and made you laugh,'' he said.
Gale said Frawley's enduring legacy should be his "willingness and courage to talk about his own issues with mental health".
Frawley also spent time as president of the AFL Coaches Association and had prominent media roles.
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