Mainwaring battled problems before death - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mainwaring battled problems before death

By Nicolas Perpitch 02/10/2007 08:47:40 PM Comments (0)

Former West Coast Eagle Chris Mainwaring was struggling with personal problems but they had nothing to do with the drug issues which have plagued other players, the AFL club says.

Police say an autopsy will determine whether drugs were involved in the death of the 41-year-old dual premiership player and television presenter.

Mainwaring collapsed and died at his Perth home early on Monday, reportedly after earlier telling paramedics he had taken ecstasy and cannabis.

Twice in the hours before his collapse he was visited by West Coast's troubled star Ben Cousins, who was "devastated" at his friend's death, club chief executive Trevor Nesbitt says.

While the club mourned Mainwaring, Mr Nisbett also said it was "very concerned" about Cousins as he tried to come to terms with his mentor's death and continued his rehabilitation program.

It was revealed the club, Cousins, friends and family had all tried to help Mainwaring overcome his personal problems.

Mr Nisbett said Mainwaring had confided in him about his problems, but would not say whether they related to his marriage, drug problems or depression.

"Chris had some underlying problems that everyone was trying to help him with," Mr Nisbett said.

It's believed Mainwaring was experiencing marriage problems, and his wife Rani and their two children Maddie, 8, and Zac 6, were not at their Cottesloe home when he died.

Instead it was Cousins who visited his friend - once on Sunday morning and again that night, leaving around 10pm (WST), hours before Mainwaring's death.

"We spoke to Ben yesterday. He was absolutely devastated because he had been with Chris the day before, and had assisted him and bought him some food in the evening and left him and thought he was fine at about 10pm Sunday," Mr Nisbett said.

Mainwaring played a crucial role in getting Cousins into drug rehabilitation for a month in April and Cousins was repaying the favour in Mainwaring's hour of need, he said.

After Cousins left, an ambulance was called following a neighbour's complaint that Mainwaring was screaming for help and acting bizarrely.

Mainwaring told paramedics he was alright, but when they returned an hour later he had collapsed and was pronounced dead soon after being rushed to hospital.

WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said it was too early to say how Mainwaring died, and there would be a coronial inquiry.

"There'll be post-mortem results and a number of other things to be done before we can draw any conclusions," Mr O'Callaghan said.

The former wingman's death caps off a traumatic year for the Eagles, marked by Cousins' troubles and admissions by the club and several other players that they had drug problems.

But Mr Nesbitt said Mainwaring's problems were not linked to other players' difficulties.

"We recognised late last year the problems we had in the club with the current players group, Chris's situation is obviously entirely different."

The West Coast Eagles will pay tribute to Mainwaring at their annual club awards on Friday and are considering whether to retire his number three jumper as a mark of respect.

The club is also talking with Mainwaring's wife and his parents over whether they want a public memorial for the two-time All Australian, one of West Coast's most talented and popular players.

"He was just loved, for his personality, his achievements in football, what he did for the town," Mainwaring's mother Leah told the Nine Network from her home in Geraldton.

"He never said 'no' to anybody, he was always happy, a very happy person and I know he's got strong mates here who would support him right through."

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