UPDATE: Port Adelaide star John McCarthy has died in an off-season incident in Las Vegas.
McCarthy, who was in the gambling capital with teammates, fell from a balcony at the Flamingo Hotel. The Power group, including ten teammates, were staying at a different hotel and were not with him at the time.
The 22-year-old was found on the south driveway of the hotel at 5.40am Las Vegas time on Sunday. He was unresponsive and was taken to the University Medical Center of Las Vegas, where he was pronounced dead.
Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said it was an enormous shock and a terrible tragedy.
“John embraced Port Adelaide and we embraced him, and we are deeply shocked and saddened by his passing,” he said.
“He was a very popular player among his team mates and our supporters. John played 21 of 22 games this season for Port Adelaide and was a valued member of our team who quickly won the respect and friendship of us all.
“He will be greatly missed by everyone at Port Adelaide and we extend our sympathies to his parents Shane and Cath, his brother Matt, sisters Frances, Elizabeth and Jane, his girlfriend Dani and his extended family and network of friends.”
Players and officials from Port Adelaide gathered for a briefing after news of the death broke this morning. Captain Dom Cassisi, Jay Schulz, David Rodan and Danyle Pearce were among the Power squad that arrived at the Alberton headquarters.
Sources in the US state McCarthy was found deceased in the gambling capital in the past 12 hours and attempts were immediately made to contact his family in Australia and a brother who was holidaying overseas.
“The Port Adelaide Football Club has been informed that an Australian man who has died in Las Vegas is believed to be one of its players,” the club said in a statement this morning.
“A group from the Port Adelaide playing group left Adelaide on Saturday for a holiday.
“The club is in contact with members of the travelling group and is working with US authorities while investigations continue.
“Port Adelaide general manager (football) Peter Rohde is on his way to the United States to be with the players.”
The club is also trying to contact other players in Australia while seeking more information from US authorities.
The Nevada Clark County Coroner's Office is investigating the death.
AFL players have been quick to pay their tributes to the two-club player.
Retired Port Adelaide great Warren Tredrea led the chorus of messages.
"My thoughts are with my dear friends at @PAFC, their families and extended friends .....What a tragedy," he tweeted.
"Thoughts are with those at Alberton Oval today and the entire @PAFC community with the tragic reports coming through," said Fremantle captain and South Australian product Matthew Pavlich via Twitter.
"Terrible news about J Mac. Thinking of the other boys over there and the entire PAFC family as well as his own #RIP" former Port player and now Docker Nick Lower said.
West Coast's Ashley Smith tweeted, "Life is too short."
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