AFL great Brett Ratten has paid an emotional tribute to his teenage son who was killed in a car crash, east of Melbourne yesterday.
Cooper Ratten, 16, was in a car with two other boys, when it rolled on Glenview Road in Yarra Glen in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He was thrown 50 metres from the vehicle and died on the way to hospital.
Police said it was an “absolute miracle” that two 17-year-olds, the driver and passenger in the car, survived the high-speed rollover.
In a death notice in this morning’s Herald Sun, his father, Brett Ratten said his son had so much potential and ability in the things he set his mind to.
“We love you so much an we will miss you forever. You will be with us for every minute of every day,” Mr Ratten and his family said in the notice.
The Hawthorn assistant coach and former Carlton head coach said the family would miss the boy’s smile, laugh and cheekiness.
“These memories will last forever,” he said.
“I wish I could kiss you, hug you and hold you tight. I love you, my son.
“We love you so much always and forever.”
All three youths played football together for the Yarra Glen Football and Netball Club under-18s side.
They had been at a club function together before leaving at 12:35am, about two hours before the crash.
None of the three youths were old enough to hold a licence, although police are investigating whether the driver held a learner’s permit.