The sad and tragic sudden passing of AFL great and beloved media figure Danny Frawley has sent the entire football world into mourning, and while league officials consider a variety of official tributes to Frawley, fans are spearheading a push to formally recognise an area of the game Frawley loved perhaps more than most: Hard-nosed defenders.
A Change.org petition calling for Frawley’s trademark Golden Fist award to be made into an official AFL trophy has gathered some 30,000-odd signatures since going up in the hours after news of his passing broke late yesterday.
Frawley, a cornerstone of Fox Footy’s Bounce program since its inception in 2007, has voted on and presented the Golden Fist award on the series since 2012, handing it out to whoever he deemed to be the league’s best defender.
Given the AFL’s lack of official recognition for defenders – the Coleman Medal is awarded to the league’s highest goalkicking forward, while the prestigious Brownlow Medal is perceived as a midfielder’s award – the petition is calling on the league to institute the Danny Frawley Golden Fist Award as an official trophy, awarded to the league’s best defender on Brownlow Medal night.
At the time of writing, some 33,300 people had attached their signature to the petition, calling for the award to be formally recognised by the league.
On social media, the sentiment is very much the same.
The Danny Frawley Golden Fist Award should be a legit defenders trophy now.
— Burgo (@FuckBurgo) September 9, 2019
Love the idea of a Golden Fist award at the Brownlow. Not only does it honour Danny Frawley, but it’s high time defenders got some recognition. Coleman for the forwards, Brownlow for the mids – defenders get zero. Make it happen #RIPDannyFrawley #goldenfist
— PeterJ (@PeterJCrows) September 10, 2019
The Frawley Medal (affectionately known as ‘The Golden Fist’) awarded to the best defender each year @AFL Unsung heroes, hey Spud? #ValeDannyFrawley
— Meg (@megsy_bee) September 10, 2019
I’m really behind the GOLDEN FIST becoming the premier award for defenders at the Brownlow night. Great idea and acknowledgement of Spuds contribution to the game @AFLcomau #RIPDannyFrawley
— Gavin John NFT (@Gavin_John_NFT) September 10, 2019
Golden Fist a great addition to AFL awards if they do it. A great nod to Danny Frawley. Also a chance for tooth and nail defenders to share the limelight.
— Matthew Duong (@matiasduong) September 10, 2019
On behalf of @Crocmedia
and @1116sen, @craighutchy has thrown his support behind this petition to make the Golden Fist a proper award in honour of Danny Frawley. Sign it below! https://t.co/IdQ2Von2sK
— SEN Breakfast (@SENBreakfast) September 9, 2019
Time to rename the Golden Fist the Danny Frawley Golden Fist. pic.twitter.com/CE7GmrR1hX
— Matt Nicholls (@matt__nicholls) September 9, 2019
“The Golden Fist” award. Let’s make it happen, folks ♥️ https://t.co/SAs99KyPSL
— harvsk (@HarvsK) September 9, 2019
It’s right about now the Golden Fist goes from a running gag to a legit defenders award. He’s done so much for the game, from playing, coaching and raising awareness for mental health. Legend. #ripspud
— Dion Alessi (@dionalessi) September 9, 2019
Honestly, we can’t think of a more fitting tribute to the great man than that. A beautiful idea. You can add your name to the growing roar via this link.
Meanwhile, the AFL is considering a raft of official tributes to the man affectionately known as Spud, including – but certainly not limited to – observing a moment of silence prior to this weekend’s semi final matchups between Geelong and West Coast, and Brisbane and GWS.
Frawley passed away yesterday in a single vehicle car crash near Ballarat, one day after his 56th birthday. A police investigation into the incident remains on-going.