Fitzy’s heartfelt text message to Walker
The Adelaide Crows spent plenty of the 2018 season in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons after their ill-fated preseason camp.
But those stories paled in comparison to the utter heartbreak endured by two of the clubs biggest names and their families.
In late August, star midfielder Rory Sloane and his wife Belinda shared the tragic news their firstborn son was delivered stillborn.
Sloane and his wife, Channel 7 presenter Belinda Sloane, announced the tragic news with identical social media posts where they photographed their hands holding the hand of their newborn, who was named Leo Rory Sloane.
Then in mid-November, despair struck the club once again when skipper Taylor Walker and his partner Ellie Brown lost their unborn baby.
Walker was granted personal leave away from the club in the wake of the devastating news.
Both stories not only rocked the club, but had players both past and present reaching out to offer up condolences to the families.
One former player who did reach out to Walker after the heartbreaking news came to light was now media personality Ryan " Fitzy" Fitzgerald.
The radio funnyman has endured the indescribable grief and pain that comes with losing a child when he and wife Belinda went through the ordeal in 2008.
"We've been through quite a bit with our relationship," Fitzy told news.com.au's Balls Deep podcast series.
"We lost a child, which was pretty full-on. I came from a family that's like, you get dealt a bad blow and you move on. But she (Belinda) came from a family that was quite emotional and it was pretty full-on."
When Fitzy learned of the Sloane's loss he tweeted a heartfelt message out to the people he described as "outstanding humans".
Devastating news about the loss of Leo Rory Sloane last week. Rory and Bel are outstanding humans with an even better support base, this is vital in the healing process. Footy seems so insignificant in a moment like this, it puts everything back into perspective. #lionwarrior— Ryan Fitzgerald (@FitzySA) August 30, 2018
But after hearing of Walker's loss, Fitzy opted against posting on social media and instead sent Walker a powerful text message.
He shared the text when speaking with Graham Cornes on Fiveaa radio's Conversations with Cornesy.
"Devastated mate. You can never prepare yourself for something like that. BJ and I lost Kaylee J. our little girl 10 years ago. A tragedy but also the most defining part of our relationship, Tex," Fitzgerald wrote in the message.
"It brought us closer and it made the birth of Huey so much more special, that will happen to you and Ellie I promise you. Always here if you need, mate. Sending all our love to you both, the Fitzgeralds."
Both Walker and Sloane returned to the training track as the Crows preseason got underway before the Christmas break.
After enduring one of the toughest years both on and off the track, the star duo will be hoping to put the pain of 2018 behind them.