Two-time premiership coach Denis Pagan has revealed North Melbourne legend Wayne Carey reached out to Dean Laidley with a heartfelt message.
Laidley was arrested by Victoria Police in May with the former North Melbourne coach bailed on stalking and drugs charges, with the 53-year-old to face court on December 14.
Speaking on the Herald Sun’s Sacked podcast, the former Roos and Blues coach spoke in detail how a number of past players have rallied around Laidley.
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Back in May, foxfooty.com.au senior reporter Tom Morris revealed a section of North heavyweights along with the AFL Players’ Association and the AFL Coaches’ Association were working collaboratively to help support the 1996 premiership player.
“A committee has been formed and that’s one thing the Kangaroos do really well, they look after their own,” Pagan said.
“I know that Wayne got a message to him and his message was along the line of, ‘Forget about it, we still love you Dean’.
“And I thought to myself, ‘Gee, that was touching’.
“Different strokes for different blokes. It doesn’t make any difference to me, I know what Dean Laidley was to the Kangaroos when I coached him, and that’s what I remember him by.
“I hope he gets well and hopefully he can be productive. He had a good job and was coaching Maribyrnong Park, and one thing with Dean Laidley, he has had a lot of personal troubles, but he was a very good football coach.”
Pagan explained his frustration with drugs, but wanted Laidley to get better after a tough period of his life.
“I feel for Dean and drugs are the scourge of our society. I don’t know what Dean was taking or administering, but it just wrecks so many lives and so many people,” he said.
“All I remember is Dean Laidley playing for us and how tough he was. It is just so sad. I hope he gets better and he can lead a normal life.”