SOME of the AFL’s biggest names were among an estimated 800 people who paid their respects to Dean Bailey at today’s memorial service at Adelaide Oval.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, former Melbourne co-captain Jack Trengove, Power premiership players Dom Cassisi and Kane Cornes and club greats Warren Tredrea and Gavin Wanganeen joined Port Adelaide and Adelaide executives and the entire Crows coaching and playing lists at the remodelled ground to farewell one of the game’s most likable figures.
SA football legend Russell Ebert and basketball and media personality Phil Smyth were among attendees.
Bailey passed away on Tuesday after a short battle with cancer. He was 47.
An assistant coach with the Crows until his death, Bailey previously was an assistant coach with the Power — where he played an integral role in its historic 2004 premiership side — and the Bombers.
He was senior coach of the Demons from 2008-11.
Crows staff, including coach Brenton Sanderson, chairman Rob Chapman and chief executive Steven Trigg, were there in great numbers to farewell Bailey.
Trigg was one of seven speakers — mostly family and a childhood friend — to deliver a eulogy.
Bailey’s death has rocked the Crows and the football community.
Adelaide players, coaches and staff are receiving counselling to deal with his shock passing.
Trigg described Bailey as a “hardworking, fiercely loyal and caring man who was devoted to his family’’.
“Dean’s dry sense of humour also provided many priceless moments.
“His influence stretches far beyond the Adelaide Football Club, given his involvement in the game across three states.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Dean’s wife, Caron, and children Darcy and Mitchell.’’
Trigg said Bailey was a fighter who was “tough to the end’’ and still concerned with how the Crows would perform this season.
“He was genuinely saying to us the squad is in great shape, Sando can coach like crazy and that you guys have to push on, not sit around thinking about me,’’ Trigg said.
The service began at 11am in the Magarey Room. It was open to family, friends and past and present work colleagues.