Dean Bailey
Dean Bailey Getty Images

Former Melbourne coach dies at age 47

ADELAIDE Crows senior assistant coach Dean Bailey has died of cancer at the age of 47.

The former Melbourne Football Club coach was diagnosed with lung cancer in December.

The Adelaide Football Club called players and staff together this morning to tell them of Bailey's death, and paid tribute to the respected AFL identity in a statement on its website.

"The Adelaide Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of a much loved friend and colleague Dean Bailey," the statement says.

"As many are aware, Dean had been battling cancer with his usual resilience and positive attitude, since being diagnosed last November.

"Sadly, he passed away overnight, surrounded by family. He was 47.

"A fiercely loyal and caring man, Dean leaves a lasting impression on everyone at the Adelaide Football Club, and the football industry."

Crows Chief Executive Steven Trigg said Dean would be remembered as a hard-working, family man.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Dean's wife, Caron and children Darcy and Mitchell," he said.

"They know that the entire Crows family is here to help and offer support."

Bailey's  VFL/AFL career began at Essendon in 1986. He played 53 league games until 1992, and then spent three years with SANFL club Glenelg, where he won the best-and-fairest trophy in 1995.

He coached at Mt Gravatt, in  Queensland, before returning to  Essendon as a development coach and later joining  Port Adelaide, where he was part of the 2004 premiership for the club.

Melbourne appointed Bailey as its senior coach for the 2008 season and he coached the Demons in 85 games.

He joined Adelaide in September 2011 as strategy and innovation coach.