AFL player rocked by tragic death of eight-year-old nephew

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Liam Ryan, pictured here in action for West Coast in the AFL.
Liam Ryan is related to the eight-year-old boy who died. Image: 7News/Getty

Liam Ryan is in doubt for West Coast’s clash with Collingwood on Sunday after a tragic death of his eight-year-old nephew.

Eight-year-old Leslie died in Western Australia on Wednesday after being hit by a truck while riding his bike to school.

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On Friday Ryan revealed that Leslie is his nephew and godson.

“My nephew I am lost for words,” Ryan wrote on Instagram.

“I wish I could tell you I love you one last time, always my boy.”

Liam Ryan, pictured here paying tribute to his nephew on Instagram.
Liam Ryan paid tribute to his nephew on Instagram. Image: Instagram

Eagles coach Adam Simpson said he isn’t sure whether the premiership forward will be available for selection against the Magpies.

“That will be his call. We'll see how he feels in the next couple of days and how he is mentally and physically,” Simpson said.

“It's tragic news for everyone but to be connected to it - our heart goes out to Liam and his family.

“It's a private issue and he'll deal with that the best way he can, and we're here to support.”

Police say the collision happened on Minilya Parkway in the Mandurah suburb of Greenfields, which is between Peel Health Campus and a primary school, about 8:30am on Wednesday.

The boy's bike, pictured here after he was struck while riding to school.
The boy was struck while riding his bike to school. Image: 7News

The child was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

The boy’s death has rocked the local community, with mourners leaving floral tributes at the site.

“Gone way, way too soon and way too young but fly now baby boy,” one person wrote on social media.

The school’s principal Peter Dunning wrote to parents, saying the boy was “a much-loved member of our school community and will be greatly missed”.

“We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.”

West Coast get captain Shuey back

West Coast will welcome back skipper Luke Shuey (hamstring) but Brendon Ah Chee will miss with a back injury.

Collingwood will be without star forward Jordan De Goey, who is set to miss at least two months of action after undergoing surgery on his injured finger.

West Coast have won three games on the trot to shoot up to premiership favourites.

But those wins have come against sides sitting in the lower rungs of the ladder - Sydney, Adelaide, and Fremantle.

Third-placed Collingwood represents a litmus test for the Eagles and Simpson is looking forward to the challenge.

“I think it (our form) has been pretty consistent for three weeks but the opposition goes up a level,” Simpson said.

“We're playing a hardened, experienced, talented side. That's the next step - to do it against a side who is possibly competing for a premiership.

“We'd like to think we're not too far away but we'll find out this week definitely with the way Collingwood play and how physical and contested the game will be and how well they are at defending.

“The challenge is in front of us but the boys are ready.”

with AAP