BREAKING AFL: Port confirms player in Las Vegas tragedy

Port Adelaide have confirmed that the AFL player found dead in Las Vegas is 22 year old John McCarthy after a fall at Flamingo Hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas confirmed the news at a press conference this afternoon.

McCarthy’s body was found at 10.40pm last night (5.40am local time) on the south driveway of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino unresponsive, from where he was transported to the University Medical Center of Las Vegas, where he was pronounced dead.

McCarthy was part of a group of 10 Port Adelaide players that left for Las Vegas on Saturday, the morning after the club’s Best and Fairest.

McCarthy was not with his teammates at the time of his death, who were not staying at the popular Flamingo Hotel during the trip.

“It’s a very sad day,” Mr Thomas said. “It’s devastating news … we’ve endured a tough year on the field, we were in the process of looking forward to next year and this is a major, major setback emotionally.”

Having not been with McCarthy at the time, teammates in Las Vegas were informed of McCarthy’s death by Thomas over the phone.

“It was a great shock, very emotional and they are making arrangements to come back now,” Thomas said about the remaining group in Vegas.

Port Adelaide will continue to investigate with the local police into the cause of the death. “We understand there were witnesses on the ground at the incident but have no details,” Thomas said after talking to Victorian police.

Port Adelaide had released a statement earlier in the day that says a Power player, whilst holidaying at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, has reportedly been found dead within the last 12 hours.

Players and club officials of Port Adelaide are also said to have been contacted, and groups have been assembling at Alberton Oval.

“First thing is to make sure everyone is OK, that his parents are looked after, and his brother and sister,” Thomas said. “We’ll wrap our arms around our players and their partners. We are doing that now.”

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said: “Victoria Police is aware of an incident involving a Victorian man in Las Vegas. As it is not a Victoria Police investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further’.”

This is shattering news for Port Adelaide, and the AFL has not seen such a devastating tragedy since the death of Melbourne player Troy Broadbridge, who died in the Boxing Day tsunami.

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