The mother of Australian Football League (AFL) player Rhett Bazzo died in a boat accident on Saturday night, according to ABC News in Australia. Kylie Bazzo, 52, was reportedly thrown overboard during the boat crash, and police found her body at the Mandurah Estuary. Rhett Bazzo plays for the West Coast Eagles, and the team said they are "devastated" by the death of his mother.
"The club's players, staff and board extend their deepest condolences to the Bazzo family and are offering every support to Rhett, his sister Kameron and their loved ones," the West Coast Eagles said in a statement. "The club asks that the privacy of Rhett and his family is respected during this extremely difficult time."
There's been a sad end to the desperate search for the mother of Eagle Rhett Bazzo, The 52 year old's body found in the Mandurah Estuary after a boating accident.— 9News Perth (@9NewsPerth) January 23, 2023
Tributes now flowing for the two best friends killed in the crash tragedy.#9News @MiaEgerton pic.twitter.com/hy5MQ86XJY
The Peel Thunder Football Club said it was "deeply saddened" by the death of Kylie Bazzo, who served as the team's marketing manager before being named chief executive in 2000. "The Bazzo family connection is etched into Peel Thunder history, with Steve an inaugural Thunder player in 1997 and later awarded life membership in 2008," the team wrote on Facebook. "On behalf of the Club, we send our love to all family and friends of Kylie Bazzo." The death of Kylie Bazzo comes eight years after Rhett and his sister Kameron lost their father, Steve Bazzo, to cancer.
Fans showed their support for Rhett on social media. One person on Facebook wrote: "Rhett I am so sorry to hear about your mother. Sending love and hugs to you and your sister. You have two wonderful Football clubs, Swan Districts and the West Coast Eagles to help you through this terrible time. They will be there for you and your sister to give you the support you need. One day at a time. RIP"
"This is truly heartbreaking," another person wrote. "I cannot imagine the pain he will be going through right now. I hope more than anything that he is able to process all those impending emotions and come to a place of acceptance at the end of it. Such a horrible situation for this poor boy to be in. I hope he has the support from his friends and family to get through this." Bazzo was selected No. 37 in the 2021 AFL Daft and played nine games last year in his first season with the club. His father played for Swan Districts in the late 1980s and 1990s before playing for West Perth and Peel Thunder.