Widow of AFL star faces monster legal bill in her bid to find out reasons for husband's tragic death


Widow of AFL star faces a $200,000 legal bill in her bid to find out the reasons behind her husband’s death after he was diagnosed with CTE

  • Katherine Tuck will be hit with a possible $200,000 legal bill by lawyers
  • Widow of AFL star Shane Tuck wants answers into her husband’s tragic death
  • He took his own life last July, leaving behind his wife and two kids, Will and Ava
  • Post life, Tuck was diagnosed with Stage III CTE, a degenerative brain disease 
  • A coronial inquest into Tuck’s death is expected to commence later this month

The widow of an AFL star is facing a crippling legal bill of up to $200,000 as she seeks answers about her husband’s death.

Katherine Tuck has hired several lawyers ahead of the coronial investigation with the AFL involving Shane Tuck, who took his own life in July last year.

After he died, the former Richmond midfielder was diagnosed with Stage III chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head knocks.

Common symptoms include depression, anxiety, confusion and memory loss.

Widow Katherine Tuck has engaged the services of several lawyers ahead of the coronial investigation with the AFL involving her late Shane Tuck, who took his own life in July last year

Widow Katherine Tuck has engaged the services of several lawyers ahead of the coronial investigation with the AFL involving her late Shane Tuck, who took his own life in July last year

Post life, former Richmond midfielder Shane Tuck was diagnosed with Stage III CTE, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head knocks

Post life, former Richmond midfielder Shane Tuck was diagnosed with Stage III CTE, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head knocks

Lawyers representing Katherine Tuck in the pending inquiry have confirmed her legal bills will be close to $200,000 - (Mrs Tuck is pictured above speaking at her husband's funeral)

Lawyers representing Katherine Tuck in the pending inquiry have confirmed her legal bills will be close to $200,000 – (Mrs Tuck is pictured above speaking at her husband’s funeral)

Greg Griffin, who is representing Mrs Tuck, confirmed her legal costs would be extensive.

The AFL said it would not assist Mrs Tuck financially, as it ‘doesn’t anticipate it will provide funding for other parties invited to take part by the coroner’. 

Melbourne law firm DLA Piper will represent the AFL in the concussion investigation.

The pending Tuck inquiry is being led by State Coroner John Cain, after the AFL successfully lobbied for Victorian Coroner Simon McGregor to be stood down from the probe.

They argued he had a conflict of interest, with his brother Matthew McGregor acting as a psychologist for the AFL Players’ Association. 

The pending inquest is likely to scrutinise whether there was a link between the head ­injuries Tuck sustained during his 173-game career with the Tigers between 2004 and 2013 and his later diag­nosis with severe CTE.

Last month when speaking on 60 Minutes, Renee Tuck revealed her sibling Shane was living a ‘tormented, hell on earth life’ after retiring from the sport.

‘He started becoming very confused. He was getting a bit vague and sometimes you would have to ask him things three times and that’s where it really started snowballing,’ she said.

‘You would look at him and know he was leaving us, slowly. He was broken and he was being ravaged and tormented and traumatised every day of his life.’

Shane Tuck also had a stint as a boxer after hanging up his footy boots, which may have contributed to his brain injury

Shane Tuck also had a stint as a boxer after hanging up his footy boots, which may have contributed to his brain injury

Shane Tuck (pictured left) with his father, champion Hawthorn footballer Michael Tuck, in happier times

Shane Tuck (pictured left) with his father, champion Hawthorn footballer Michael Tuck, in happier times

Tuck also boxed professionally from 2015-2017 after hanging up his footy boots, with his time in the ring possibly contributing to his brain injury.

Fellow AFL legends Graham Farmer and Danny Frawley were also diagnosed with CTE after they died.

Frawley died in a deliberate car crash in rural Victoria in September 2019 after a long battle with his mental health.

The AFL introduced a rule on the eve of the 2021 season allowing for an extra substitute to be named and able to replace any player with symptoms of concussion to prevent teams keeping them on the field so as not to be disadvantaged.

Need to talk to someone? Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 or beyondblue.org.au

Signs and symptoms of concussion

*Loss of consciousness after impact

*Confusion, disorientation, loss of coordination or balance

*Memory impairment

*Dazed or vacant stare

*Headaches, neck pain, feeling pressure in the head

*Blurred vision, dizziness

*Nausea or vomiting

*Irritability, feeling more emotional, nervous or anxious

Source: Australian Medical Association 

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