Pretty bizarre article, and I would also think Duck's words were private. Made for uncomfortable reading for me. Just MODenis Pagan reveals touching message to Dean Laidley from North Melbourne champion Wayne Carey
North Melbourne premiership stars have rallied to support former teammate Dean Laidley after his shock arrest on drugs and stalking charges. Denis Pagan reveals the private message from the Roos’ biggest name.
Jon Ralph and Glenn McFarlane, Herald Sun
August 27, 2020 12:50pm
Dual premiership coach Denis Pagan has revealed North Melbourne’s greatest player Wayne Carey has reached out to Dean Laidley with the touching message: “We still love you, Dean.”
A group of Kangaroos past players that includes some of the biggest stars of the game continues to work behind the scenes to help 1996 premiership defender Laidley with his recovery.
The 53-year-old former North Melbourne coach was bailed on stalking and drugs charges and will face court on December 14.
Last month it was revealed 13 police officers had been suspended or transferred after photos of Laidley in a blonde wig and dress in a police interview were unlawfully leaked.
Pagan was one of the football luminaries who wrote personal references for Laidley in a recent court appearance.
Many North Melbourne players were rocked to find out about Laidley’s issues and have worked to reconnect with him and give him friendship and any guidance needed.
The AFL Players Association has also stepped in with its hardship fund and effectively financed his stay in a Geelong rehab facility before he moved into transitional housing.
And while Pagan has always been from footy’s old school, he told the Herald Sun’s Sacked podcast the only thing that mattered was helping Laidley get better.
“A committee has been formed (to help) 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’.
Dean Laidley celebrates a win over Fremantle as North Melbourne coach.
“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 — has had a lot of personal troubles, but he was a very good football coach.”
Laidley was found with methamphetamine in his possession in an adhesive bra he was wearing, with North Melbourne teammates aware he had regularly dressed as a woman for many years but blindsided by his drug issues.
Pagan has long had a no-tolerance attitude towards drugs because of the savage toll they take on society.
“We live in a society now and it has become more prevalent and people are blaming mental health issues,” Pagan said.
Denis Pagan and Dean Laidley were coaching rivals in the early 2000s.
“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. All I remember is Dean Laidley playing for us and how tough he was.
“Sure, he was quietly spoken but he never caused a ripple. And he was running in front of Tony Lockett in the 1996 Grand Final and putting his scrawny skinny little body in the way, and he was getting knocked around and getting up.
“It is just so sad. I hope he gets better and he can lead a normal life.”
...so she has to write a letter of thanks to the police? After what happened? That's ****ing horrendous.Former North Melbourne coach's charge to be dropped with letter of thanks to police
Former AFL coach Dani Laidley, who was previously known as Dean, will have a drug charge against her dismissed if she writes a letter of thanks to police.
The premiership player and former North Melbourne coach was found in possession of methamphetamine when arrested on unrelated matters in May this year.
She was on bail for separate charges at the time.
Lawyer Rob Stary said his client had gone through a gender transition and requested the court refer to her as Ms Laidley.
Police recommended Laidley for the court’s diversion program, which allows charges against some offenders to be dismissed if certain conditions are met.
Magistrate Jack Vandersteen said he was satisfied diversion was the right path.
He said Laidley was contrite, well supported in the community and had suffered very significant additional punishment including the release of photographs of her in a dress after her arrest.
Laidley’s mugshot and a photo of her in a long blonde wig and dress, taken inside a police station, were shared among officers and leaked to the media.
Victoria Police suspended seven employees and and transferred six others to different duties after the leak, which was described by Assistant Commissioner Shane Patton as appalling and unlawful criminal conduct.
The force’s internal Professional Standards Command launched an investigation into the incident which remains ongoing.
Charges of drug possession and committing an indictable offence while on bail will be dismissed if she is of good behaviour for the next four months and writes a letter of gratitude to the officer who recommended the diversion program.
It is a letter thanking a specific officer for getting her into a diversion program for the drug charges.Any more details on the letter of thanks? Seems a very weird condition given their behaviour. Also don't see how it relates to contrition. But perhaps there is some missing piece i am unaware of.
Holy sh*t, Laids was playing WAFL as a 6 year old?! Impressive!Full respect to Dean Laidley as a West Pertb fan, I watched him as a skinny 6-year-old in the WAFL in 1984. His problem was he couldn't talk in the "corporate" way expected of coaches in the 90s and beyond.
Nailed it.It is a letter thanking a specific officer for getting her into a diversion program for the drug charges.
I don’t read it as condoning/excusing/forgiving the arseholes for their behaviour.
Basically I read them as two seperate issues, so good on the magistrate for awarding no additional punishment and allowing Dani to move on with her life.