While there were plenty of tears of joy when the Socceroos beat Denmark to secure their place in the FIFA World Cup round of 16, a text message from Bailey Wright’s wife left the defender shedding tears of sorrow.
His wife Alexandria sent him the tragic news that her mother, Wright’s mother-in-law, back in England was battling with a serious health condition.
Now Wright has taken to Instagram to reveal that his mother-in-law Tammy Burrow has died.
‘One night full of so many emotions,’ he posted.
‘Achieving a lifelong dream of playing in a World Cup, making history with this incredible group of people and the saddening news my mother in law, Tammy is no longer with us.
‘She was an incredible human and truly loved by so many. RIP.’
Wright was delivered the news that his mother-in-law was battling the serious health condition straight after fulltime of the Socceroos’ historic 1-0 win over Denmark at Al Janoub Stadium on Wednesday.
Bailey with his daughter Koa Kelsall Wright and wife Alexandria who is pregnant with the couple’s second child
Bailey and Katherine were very close with Tammy Burrow and were left devastated by her death
He wiped away tears as he told reporters about the shocking news and dedicated the win to Tammy.
‘I’ve just come in from a message from my wife. I just want to dedicate this to my wife, bless her, and her mum,’ Wright said less than an hour after full-time.
‘I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if she’s still with us,’ he said at the time.
‘It’s something I’ve kept to myself, no-one knows,’ he said. ‘We’ve all got a lot going on, just really proud.
‘… It was, for them, a really tough time back home, but ultimately, it made this possible for me to be here and live one of my dreams so I dedicate that [win against Denmark] to Tammy. I hope she’s still with us.’
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold said the team would rally around Wright ahead of their round of 16 clash with Argentina on Sunday AEDT.
‘[We will rally around him] like we rally around everyone. (It’s) part of my way, my culture, my family culture,’ Arnold said.
‘He’s devastated and as I just said to him, it’s crazy these things in life – something special happens and something gets taken away … but Bailey he’s OK.
‘The whole team and everyone is caring for his wife but Bailey is OK’
Wright celebrates with Socceroos fans in Qatar after their historic 1-0 win over Denmark to reach the knockout stage of the tournament
The players were devastated for Wright and his family, said teammate Milos Degenek.
‘My condolences go out to his family and his wife’s family I think especially for his wife, with two kids. It’s something nobody wants to wish upon anyone,’ he said
‘He knows we are his second family. We’re going to be behind him and if there’s anything we or the Federation can do … we will do it.
‘… We’re all behind him and it shows you what we as footballers go throw at times and what our families go through.’
Wright, right, celebrates as Denmark’s Andreas Cornelius, left, reacts after Australia won the World Cup group D soccer match against Denmark
Australian captain Mat Ryan was one of the many high-profile sporting identities to offer his condolences online.
‘No doubt she’s looking down so proud. Love you brother.’ he posted.
A host of Sunderland teammates also reached out to Wright with messages of support including Luke O’Nien, Lynden Gooch, Dan Neil and Dennis Cirkin along with past and present Socceroos including Jackson Irvine and Tim Cahill while AFL club Richmond Tigers also shared its support.