This week saw another young athlete unexpectedly die when Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) player Heather Anderson passed away at the age of 28.
Player remembered for being “much loved” and respected”
According to Fox News Australia, Anderson’s death was made public by her team in a statement it put out on Monday.
“The Adelaide Football Club is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Premiership player Heather Anderson,” it read, adding, “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.”
The Adelaide Football Club is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Premiership player Heather Anderson. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. pic.twitter.com/4aUz8GZ8p7
— Adelaide Crows AFLW (@CrowsAFLW) November 14, 2022
Those sentiments were echoed in a tweet posted by the Brisbane Lions on Monday, which said that the team’s “thoughts and prayers are with the Anderson family and everyone at the Adelaide Crows.”
Heartbreaking news! Our thoughts and prayers are with the Anderson family and everyone at the Adelaide Crows ❤️ https://t.co/yFz826OKT9
— Brisbane Lions (@brisbanelions) November 14, 2022
AFLW general manager Nicole Livingston spoke out about Anderson as well, calling her a “much-loved” figure who was “respected” by fellow athletes.
“Words cannot express the deep sadness amongst the AFL and AFLW community at this time. Our sincerest condolences are to the Anderson family,” she declared. “On behalf of the AFL, I would like to express my deepest compassion to Heather’s family, friends and colleagues.”
The AFL extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of former Adelaide Crows player Heather Anderson, following her unexpected passing.
A much-loved and respected teammate, Heather will be greatly missed 💙💛❤️
— AFL Women’s (@aflwomens) November 14, 2022
Anderson served as an Australian Army medic
Fox Sports noted how Anderson served as a medic in the Australian Army and in 2016 became the first player from the Northern Territory to be drafted by the Adelaide Crows.
She was known for wearing pink headgear, a look Livingston adopted in order to become more visible to her mother who suffers from visual impairment.
Anderson’s achievements with the Adelaide Crows came despite incurring a serious shoulder injury. She subsequently suffered another dislocated shoulder which required surgery.