AFL legend Rex Hunt has been dealt another serious health blow.
The former Richmond and St Kilda champion — who became a famous sports commentator and TV presenter in his later life — has now been diagnosed with dementia.
The devastating news comes after Hunt was diagnosed with bi-polar depression in 2017.
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“We are dealing with this as a family and are giving him love and support,” Hunt’s wife Lynne told News Corp.
“He is fit, in good spirits and looking forward to going fishing again soon.
“Thousands of families around Australia have loved ones living with dementia and we are no different from any of them.”
Rex Hunt has been diagnosed dementia. Credit: Facebook
In September this year, Hunt made a brief appearance at a media function only to check himself into a care facility to help him with his ongoing mental health issues.
In July this year, his close friend Sam Newman said Hunt’s condition had declined and he was ”under the care of an institution”.
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“He is not going too well … Rex has gone into a decline, into a state of depression again, and we’re wishing him well,” Newman said.
“He has a lot to offer. He is a world-class and world-renowned fisherman … People love him and want the best for him.
“He is a very dear friend and we hope he is back up and going soon.”
Hunt is a two-time VFL/AFL premiership player but became hugely popular as a football commentator on radio.
His TV fishing show was also a big hit for fans.
In May, he opened up on his mental health after he was hospitalised in January following a late-night incident on a Victorian freeway.
“At the moment I’m quite happy to just go along with life and not make a fool of myself,” he said.
“And just understand that it’s never ever going to be the same (as it was before). I got hooked on painkilling drugs when I had my neck operation (seven years ago).
“It’s about as simple as that. And then my whole life changed, particularly above the shoulders.”
Hunt said at one point he overdosed on opioids “and went downhill very, very quickly”.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.