Former footballer Ricky Nixon has broken his silence after being taken to hospital following a series of concerning social media posts, a month on from his best mate Danny Frawley’s suicide.
Nixon, 56, was taken to The Alfred Hospital by police for assessment from his Port Melbourne flat on Tuesday afternoon.
The former St Kilda star and player agent made three worrying Facebook posts on Tuesday evening.
The first said he had broken up with his fiancee Melissa Huynh and that she had ‘no idea how bad he was struggling’.
‘My best mate suicided think I’ll go with him this place is a c**t. That (sic) life goodbye,’ he wrote.
Ricky Nixon (left) has been taken to hospital after making suicidal threats on social media.
The second simply read ‘I’ve tried, goodbye’ and the third ‘f**k [you] all I’m going Danny good riddance’.
But on Wednesday night, Nixon took to Facebook to update his fans on his mental state.
‘Firstly I’m ok. I apologise for alarming everyone last night yes it’s been blown out of proportion but it’s been coming and I’m glad it’s off my chest,’ he wrote.
‘I spent time with ‘Spud’ Frawley face to face in the lead up to his passing and of course wish I could have done more but I can’t. I’ll move on.
‘Melissa Huynh has been amazing right beside me all the way and I’ll be there for her when she needs me.’
The former St Kilda star made three Facebook posts between 5.40pm and 5.54pm on Tuesday indicating he wanted to take his own life
Kim Duthie, who was known as the ‘St Kilda School girl’, leaves the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2015 after taking on Ricky Nixon about a book he was writing
The ex-footballer great ended his post on a positive note, thanking the public for their messages of concern.
‘Tomorrow is a new day a new beginning….. bring it on!’ he ended the post.
Nixon gave all the warning signs that he wasn’t quite coping with the death of his great mate Danny Frawley.
When the man lovingly known as ‘Spud’ took his own life on September 9, those closest to him looked back and thought they too probably missed the signs.
A week before his three concerning posts, Nixon, nicknamed ‘Chicken’ since his days playing with St Kilda and Hawthorn, gave his followers on Facebook an ominous warning that he wasn’t coping.
‘Driving along listening to Radio then this Elton John No.1 Song ‘Daniel’ came on bought me to tears,’ he wrote.
‘Daniel is traveling tonight on a planeI can see the red tail lights heading for SpainOh and I can see Daniel waving goodbyeGod it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes.’
The post was littered with typos, much like the rambling tweets that saw police take him away in handcuffs on Tuesday night.
At Frawley’s funeral on September 18, Nixon looked unwell – his face blood red.
The pair were teammates at St Kilda for six seasons from 1986-91 and became close friends.
Nixon’s posts reference Danny Frawley’s (left) death last month in a single-car crash in Millbrook, Victoria, in what police are treating as a suspected suicide
Nixon and fiancee Melissa Huynh appeared to be in high spirits while enjoying a wine tour of the Yarra Ranges over the weekend
‘Spud was my mate my captain my soul – always there for me now I can’t be there for him,’ a devastated Nixon posted on Facebook on the night of Frawley’s death on September 9.
The day after Frawley’s funeral, Nixon took to the stage at the MCG for the Toccolan Footy Luncheon – a charity event that featured former AFL greats Matthew Richardson, Nicky Winmar, Diesel Williams and AFLW star Jesse Hoskins.
Nixon smiled for photos and posted them on Facebook.
Days later he was back in his Vital Health Checks van where he visited people struggling with their own mental health issues in Bendigo – in country Victoria.
Like Frawley, who was a champion for highlighting mental health issues, Nixon felt he needed to help too.
He recently told ex-Herald Sun sport reporter Ron Reed he was: ‘absolutely hell-bent on doing something in this world to make sure I can help people’.
Who is Ricky Nixon?
Ricky Nixon, 56, is a former AFL player and sports agent.
His AFL career began with the Carlton Blues, where he played four games between 1983 and 1985.
He then joined St Kilda where he played 51 games and booted 32 goals between 1986 and 1991.
His career ended with Hawthorn, where he played eight games before he retired in 1993.
The following year, the former PE teacher established his sports management company Flying Start.
He made headlines in 2011 when it was revealed he had an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl who had previously been embroiled in controversies involving St Kilda players, including his client Nick Riewoldt.
The then married Nixon admitted to visiting the girl at her hotel room on at least three occasions.
He received a two year suspension from the AFL Players’ Association Accreditation Board following the incident.
It has seen Nixon embark on converting ambulances into mobile health studios – physical and mental health – which enable people in workplaces to have 20-minute check-ups.
He recently told a luncheon he got out of bed every morning with a positive attitude.
‘You have to understand yourself … I understand that I’m an adrenaline junkie and I know when the ‘go’ light goes on. I can go a month without a drink, then I’ll have 6,000 and I know it’s not good for your body or for your family so I manage it. It’s just happiness … at the end of the day, all that matters is your happiness. People who live the longest are those who are happiest. If it’s not going too well for you don’t be scared to go talk to someone, to get a bit of help.’
Nixon had put it out there that he was getting a fresh start, but his old demons don’t appear to want to let him go.
After Tuesday’s tweets, TV fisherman Rex Hunt pleaded with Nixon to call him for support, implying that he and Ms Huynh had helped him in his own dark times.
‘Ricky ring me now…Ricky I’ve been there… ring me now I know how you’re feeling I’ve rung you no answer where are you,’ he wrote.
‘I can help for Christs sake. You and Melissa were there for me. Please ring me. Please.’
Hunt later wrote that he was ‘very concerned this is the real deal’.
The mood improved upon word from concerned friends who called triple-0 that police had arrived at Nixon’s home and taken him to hospital.
One of Nixon’s friends has since tried to reassure all those concerned about his welfare.
‘Ricky is doing the best he can, he has now being given the care he needs. And at this point we ask that as mates we’re all there for him and his family and of course each other,’ the friend wrote.
Victoria Police said a Port Melbourne man was ‘taken to hospital for assessment after making threats on a social media platform today’.
Ricky Nixon had been on the road in his new mental health check vans. Nixon had claimed he had been given a ‘new life’ and had turned the corner after years of despair
Nixon and fiancee Melissa Huynh in happier times. Nixon made threats to self harm on social media and police rushed to help him
Nixon is not believed to have harmed himself before he was taken to hospital.
The former AFL agent and his fiancee were on a wine tour of the Yarra Ranges, just outside Melbourne, on the weekend and appeared to be in high spirits.
Nixon’s colourful history includes 63 AFL games in the 1980s and 1990s, after which he became Australia’s highest-profile sports agent.
He founded sports management company Flying Start in 1994 and later owned a fitness club and two sports bars at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne.
Nixon’s clients were a who’s who of AFL stars including Gary Ablett Sr, Ben Cousins, Wayne Carey, Jason Dunstall, Tony Lockett, Garry Lyon, Nick Riewoldt and Tom Hawkins.
Ricky Nixon reacts as the coffin of Danny Frawley completed a final lap of honour after a memorial service for him at RSEA Park, Moorabbin last month. Nixon was great mates with the former champion
Nixon took to social media on Tuesday to say that he and his fiancee Melissa Huynh had split
It all came crashing down after one of his clients and close friends Clinton Grybas died suddenly at the start of 2008, and Nixon admitted his life soon went off the rails with drug and alcohol abuse.
The public signs began in 2009 when he crashed into a tram while intoxicated.
Nixon blew a blood alcohol reading of 0.108, more than twice the legal limit, after his Alfa Romeo collided with the tram in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond.
His car was wedged under the tram and he fled the scene. A magistrate fined him $1,250 and suspended his licence for 10 months.
Two years later he admitted to ‘inappropriate dealings’ with a 17-year-old girl including buying her alcohol, but denied any sexual contact.
The girl was previously embroiled with two St Kilda players Nixon managed, one of whom admitted to having sex with her.
She claimed to have compromising photos and videos of the players and of Nixon with her, which were given to police and newspapers.
Nixon posted that Melissa had ‘no idea how bad he was struggling’ following their split
Nixon visited her three times at an apartment paid for by the football club, including on Valentines Day 2011.
The girl claimed she initially had sex with Nixon in a bid to set him up as ‘re