Friends say they are worried for a devastated Eddie McGuire after the prominent media and football identity suffered the blow of losing a close mate so soon after being pressured into quitting as Collingwood president.
McGuire, 56, looked distraught when he made a rare public appearance on Tuesday as he visited the Melbourne home of close mate and music industry mogul Michael Gudinski, who died suddenly on Monday night.
It was a rare public appearance since he ended his 23-year reign as president of AFL club Collingwood on February 9 following the release of an independent report which found there were unaddressed incidences of racism toward black players.
The Millionaire Hotseat host and Fox Footy commentator has confided in some friends that he’s ‘not doing anything for a long time’.
Eddie McGuire has withdrawn from the limelight since quitting his job at the helm of Collingwood Football Club. He’s pictured looking emotional while announcing his resignation
When he was Collingwood president and host of the high-rating Footy Show, McGuire was a highly powerful figure in the AFL and media industries, but now finds himself on the outer and there are reports McGuire is in a ‘very bad way’.
‘He can’t get his head around that he’s basically been booted out of the club which he spent most of his life doing everything for,’ one confidante told the Herald Sun.
‘He sees it that he did everything trying to look after these people and then when push came to shove, he got shoved.
‘That’s what has absolutely crushed him.’
It’s unclear when McGuire will return to his television roles at Nine and Fox Sports, just three weeks out from the start of the AFL season.
The heavy toll showed on McGuire’s ashen face as he visited Gudinski’s home following the legendary music promoter’s shock death.
A distraught Eddie McGuire visited Michael Gudinski home to pay his respects following the music promoter’s shock death. He’s pictured being comforted by his wife Carla and a friend
McGuire and his wife Carla looked shaken as they arrived at the home and hugged waiting friends and family.
He appeared distressed and stayed closed to his wife.
McGuire and Gudinski were understood to be close and presented a tribute to music icon Molly Meldrum together in 2018.
McGuire is also still mourning the death of his mother Bridie, 94, last August.
He surprised the sporting world in December when he announced he would step down as the long-serving president at Collingwood at the end of the 2021 season.
Just two months later he was pressured to bring that departure forward by the report that revealed there was a history of ‘systemic racism’ within the club.
The high-profile media personality (left) has withdrawn from the limelight and is said to be in a ‘very bad way’. McGuire is pictured with wife Carla in 2019
The report into the club came after former Collingwood premiership player Heritier Lumumba – who is partially of African heritage – claimed he was given the racist nickname ‘Chimp’ during his time at the Magpies.
Former players Leon Davis and Andrew Krakouer have also broken their silence to recall similar racism at the club.
The controversy-plagued president was slammed for calling the release of the report ‘an historic and proud day for the Collingwood Football Club’.
He referenced those comments at the beginning of last month’s press conference, with his opening line: ‘I try my best and I don’t always get it right, but I don’t stop trying.’
‘From the moment I became the President of the Collingwood Football Club on my 34th birthday back in 1998, my sole motivation was to heal, unite, inspire and drive a new social conscience,’ McGuire said.
‘Not just into this club, but sport and the community in general and build an organisation that would be a place for opportunity for all people.
Close friends say Eddie McGuire is crushed after stepping down as Collingwood boss in February. He’s pictured visiting the home of good friend Michael Gudinski on Tuesday
‘I don’t it is either fair or tenable for the club or the community (to continue in this role).
‘People have latched on to my opening line last week and as a result I have become a lightning rod for vitriol but have placed the club in a position where it is hard to move forward with our plans of clear air.’
McGuire later hinted in his final speech as Pies president that he would be withdrawing from the limelight.
‘With the indulgence of my media partners, I’m going to take a break for a little while to regroup and heal,’ he said.
The 56-year-old became Collingwood president on his 34th birthday in 1998.
The Magpies have lost four AFL grand finals in that time and broke a 20-year drought to win a premiership in 2010.
Eddie McGuire fought back tears in February as he stepped down as Collingwood president, a week after the release of a report that revealed there was a history of ‘systemic racism’ within the club.
The Millionaire Hot Seat host also recently end his tenure on Triple M’s The Hot Breakfast program after 11 years on air.
‘It’s time too for me to finish up a wonderful 11 year run with a 4am alarm,’ Eddie told listeners.
‘This year has been a year like no other for all of us. We found ourselves able to broadcast six hours a day and on weekends when COVID-19 hit. Whilst gruelling, it has also been a true honour and pleasure for us to be with Melbourne every step of the way and the most important year in our show’s history,’ Eddie said.
‘I plan to take some time to reflect and recharge with my family and after a good, long break, have a look at what the next project for Triple M looks like in 2021, building on new ground we forged back in 2009.’
Eddie McGuire’s infamous gaffes
1999: Comes under fire for defending AFL Footy Show co-host Sam Newman who painted his face black to imitate St Kilda’s Nicky Winmar, who had failed to turn up for a guest slot on the show
2010 – He made allusions about the sexuality of male figure skaters during the Winter Olympics
2011: Referred to western Sydney as the land of falafel during an on-air radio interview with Kevin Sheedy, the coach of new club GWS Giants.
‘I’ve just a put a team together of your 17-year-olds who’ll be sick of living up in the land of the falafel in western Sydney playing in front of a 12,000-seat stadium that’s still not put up,’ McGuire taunted Sheedy.
2013 – McGuire made comments suggesting Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes should be used to promote a King Kong musical
The comments were made just five days after Goodes copped racial abuse from a teenage Magpies fan who called him an ape.
2015 – He called sports minister John Eren a ‘soccer-loving, Turkish-born Mussie’.
McGuire refused to apologise, saying it was a term of endearment between friend.
‘The quote that I said, because I referred (in) this to the Minister himself, is as a ‘soccer loving Turkish born Mussie’ to emphasise the point that no longer do we have an Anglo Saxon former AFL footballer as the sports minister,’ he said at the time.
‘Because ‘Mussies’ (is) the way that my Muslim friends refer to themselves.’
2016 – He joked about drowning journalist Caroline Wilson at the Big Freeze (an event to raise money for motor neurone disease)
He made the comments as host of the AFL Footy Show, which were widely condemned and cost the program a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nissan after co-host Sam Newman spoke out in defence of McGuire.
2019: Forced to apologise after making disparaging comments about a double amputee during the coin toss at an AFL match.
Former journalist Cynthia Banham, who lost both her legs during a plane crash, struggled to balance as she tossed the coin at the Sydney Swans and Adelaide Crows match at the SCG.
McGuire, who was on the panel of Friday Night Footy, was quick to scold the Swans’ number one ticket holder, who was holding a walking stick in one hand and the coin in the other as she performed the toss.
‘I think we should issue a $5,000 fine for anybody who is tossing the coin and can’t do it properly,’ McGuire said.
2021: An independent review finds ‘systemic’ racism within Colingwood club.
McGuire came under fire after he said it was ‘an historic and proud day’ for the club after the report found racism had resulted in ‘profound and enduring harm to First Nations and African players.’
‘You were the last of your kind’: Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson delivers touching tribute to Australian music industry legend Michael Gudinski and says she’s heartbroken by his death
By Demeter Stamell
Shirley Manson is the latest celebrity to pay tribute to Michael Gudinski after the Australian music industry giant’s sudden death on Monday.
In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, the 54-year-old Garbage frontwoman said she had ‘lost a beloved friend’ in Gudinski.
‘A person who loved on me, encouraged me, believed in me… even at times when I had completely lost faith in myself,’ she began.
Paying her respects: Shirley Manson has become the latest celebrity to pay tribute to Michael Gudinski after the Australian music industry giant’s sudden death on Monday. Pictured together
Shirley said she’d spoken with the late 68-year-old only a week ago to discuss a new business venture.
‘This was typical of Michael. He was always trying to put me up for stuff. Always trying to think of a way for me to survive the blows of an industry not in the least bit friendly towards older women,’ she wrote.
‘In this sense Michael was a bit of a renaissance man. He believed that women had worth beyond just being hot and happening. He believed most of all in talent and drive.’
RIP: In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, the 54-year-old Garbage frontwoman said she had ‘lost a beloved friend’ in Gudinski
Shirley said Gudinski would frequently tell her that he loved the fact she was ‘loyal’ and had ‘integrity’.
‘It breaks my heart thinking he is gone,’ she continued.
Shirley, who is based in the UK, said Gudinski would often be waiting for her whenever she disembarked a flight in Australia ‘with beers and tequila shots and Chinese banquets’.
‘A person who loved on me, encouraged me, believed in me… even at times when I had completely lost faith in myself,’ she began. Pictured performing in Dublin in July 2019
‘I will never again have him grab me by the hand and demand I take him somewhere so he could hear our new record. He would listen intently. He would bounce up and down in his chair,’ she wrote.
She added: ‘At the end of every listening session he would jump up and bound around the room.
‘Pacing and clapping his hands together and running up into my face and then bounding off again into the middle of the room shouting things like, “You devils have done it again,” and then start laughing manically.
Touching base: Shirley said she’d spoken with the late 68-year-old only a week ago to discuss a new business venture. Pictured at the SXSW Conference and Festival in Austin in March 2019
‘Then shots would be laid out and he would insist on a toast and then another one and another one.’
The heartbroken rockstar admitted she will never find anyone quite like Gudinski ‘again in my life’.
‘All his enthusiasm and his vigour, his passion and his love. He had so much love in him,’ she concluded.
‘At the end of every listening session he would jump up and bound around the room,’ she wrote. Pictured with Ed Sheeran (right) in Perth in March 2018
‘You f**king freak. You f**king incredible father. You f**king marvellous and maddening husband.
‘You extraordinary record man. You were the last of your kind. I was lucky to know you. Love you forever and ever and ever. Endless gratitude to you Michael. See you on the flip side mate. Your girl Shirl.’
Gudinski, who was widely regarded as the ‘father of the Australian music industry’, passed away in Melbourne on Monday night.
‘You extraordinary record man. You were the last of your kind. I was lucky to know you. Love you forever and ever and ever. Endless gratitude to you Michael,’ she wrote. Pictured in London in July 2019
He leaves behind wife Sue, children Matt and Kate, and two grandchildren.
The music promoter formed record company Mushroom Records at just 20 years old, and went on to sign and launch the careers of local artists such as Kylie Minogue, who is now one of the biggest pop stars in the world.
In 1979, he established concert promoter Frontier Touring and stayed at its helm until his death.
Eye for talent: The music promoter formed record company Mushroom Records at just 20 years old, and went on to sign and launch the careers of local artists such as Kylie Minogue (left). Pictured with Dannii Minogue (right) in Melbourne in March 2009
His family confirmed his death on Tuesday morning.
Mushroom Group said in a statement: ‘It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Michael Gudinski AM overnight.
‘The much-loved Australian music legend died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Melbourne, Australia. Michael Gudinski was a key figure in shaping the Australian music industry.’