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Footy clubs mourn young player after his shock death devastated the community: ‘We loved him so much’

  • Billy Sullivan’s death has left three Aussie Rules teams shattered
  • Was a big part of one club’s race to the premiership last year
  • If you require support, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

Three football clubs in Victoria are in shock after popular young player Billy Sullivan died on Tuesday.

Described as the ‘life of the party’, Sullivan played for Melton, Melton South and Darley in the Ballarat Football League, where he built a reputation as a great teammate, tough trainer and tough competitor.

He played mainly for Melton South but moved to Darley in 2023 and unfortunately missed last season’s premiership win after suffering a shoulder injury.

Melton coach Troy Scoble was full of praise for his late star when the news broke.

“He was simply one of the most affable and likable people you could ever meet,” Scoble told the newspaper Ballarat courier.

The talented footballer played a big role in Darley's bid to win the Ballarat League premiership last year, but missed the grand final through injury

The talented footballer played a big role in Darley’s bid to win the Ballarat League premiership last year, but missed the grand final through injury

“He was a great teammate, he gave everything in training, everything on the field, and to be honest, he definitely gave everything he could off the field as well.

‘He was one of those, you might say, culture builders. He joined our group and made such an important contribution in such a short time.

‘That is in a football sense, but in a personal sense I have had a strong relationship with the family for more than fifteen years. They are all the same, quality people, quality characters and this will hit everyone very hard because we loved him so much.”

Melton South – where Sullivan played his junior footy – paid tribute in a heartbreaking statement.

‘Billy was not only loved on the field. Off the field, with his infectious smile and cheeky sense of humor, he was always fun to be around,” the statement said.

“People were better because they had Billy in their lives.

Melton coach Troy Scoble described Sullivan (pictured left) as 'one of the most likeable people you could ever meet'

Melton coach Troy Scoble described Sullivan (pictured left) as ‘one of the most likeable people you could ever meet’

Darley coach Dan Jordan recalled an astonishing prediction Sullivan made at the team's season opener last year

Darley coach Dan Jordan recalled an astonishing prediction Sullivan made at the team’s season opener last year

“Our club was poorer when Billy decided to leave and is even poorer today knowing we won’t see his smiling face again.

“Billy – you will be missed by all and in the words of our song, ‘shake the thunder from the sky’ as we have no doubt that you are looking over us all.”

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Darley coach Dan Jordan also heaped praise on the player, praising his toughness and ability to “show our younger guys how to play.”

‘One thing I do remember and it made me chuckle a bit last night: there was a moment at the launch of our season where there was some internal commotion going on, it was mentioned “in round nine when we said goodbye and we’re done,’ and I think, ‘Let’s temper expectations here,’” Jordan said.

“Billy stood up and said, ‘No, we’re winning the flag this year.’ I asked, “Why is that, Bill?” His response was, “Because you have Sullivan.”

“I remembered last night he was right, we got him, we won the flag. It’s such a shame he wasn’t there that day.’

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