AFANA issued the following statement from Rob de Santos, Chairman, earlier today:
"Many of you will know one of the charter members of AFANA, indeed a co-founder, Richard Lipp. To most of us, the "KCSwan" or "Swannie". I learned this morning from his wife Linda, that he passed away suddenly yesterday. Richard was 45 years old.
"It's impossible for me to tell you how much Richard meant to AFANA and AFANA and the Sydney Swans meant to him. AFANA wasn't my idea, it was his and Wade Hinkle's back in 1995. I was recruited by them and convinced that this concept had a future. I was very skeptical but they were persuasive. Eventually, I signed on and agreed to lead the new organization. We would not exist today were it not for Richard.
"Over the years, he continued to support us and contribute to the organization. He was a regular on our old BBS system and helped organize the annual Grand Final party in the Kansas City area. One of my great pleasures last year was meeting him and his family in January, 2006, at the events surrounding the AFL exhibition in Los Angeles. The Swans were there and everyone knew he would be, too.
"The family has indicated that visitation will be Tuesday, March 6, 2007, from 6-8 PM at Amos-South, 10113 Lenexa Drive, and the funeral will be 10:00 AM Wednesday at Lenexa United Methodist Church, 9138 Caenen Lake Road in Lenexa, Kansas.
"If any of our members in that part of the US can be present on Tuesday or Wednesday, please advise AFANA. If anyone knows where to reach Wade Hinkle, please let us know that, also.
"On behalf of AFANA and Australian football in the USA and Canada, let me extend our deepest sympathies to his wife and children. Our prayers are with you in your time of grief."
Article last changed on Saturday, May 23, 2009 - 6:06 PM EDT