Cherie Dear speaks to reporters ahead of Hawthorn's clash with Geelong in round three, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

CHERIE Dear says the support of three-time premiership Hawk Jack Gunston was a great comfort to her son Calsher and the entire family after the death of her husband, 1991 Norm Smith medallist Paul Dear, from pancreatic cancer. 

Paul Dear died in July 2022, the year before Calsher was drafted to the Hawks, and just weeks before the club was due to play a game in honour of the Dears' charity initiative, Dare to Hope. 

Cherie said the club's support of the family as Paul battled his illness was a great comfort and help, and Gunston, whose father Ray died suddenly just days before Paul passed away, had been a wonderful mentor for Calsher as he began his AFL career. 


"After Paul passed away, the Dare to Hope match was planned to be on a week or something after that, and Paul was obviously meant to be there, so it was a very sad time but we went ahead with the game and we went into the club, and Jack had just come back from his dad dying and I remember looking at him and he looked shattered himself. 

"I guess now for Jack to be back at Hawthorn and for Calsh to be able to ... have him not only mentor him for the position on the field, but [Jack]'s coming from a shared experience and that it happened at around the same time, it's ironic how that has all happened."  


Join hosts Tracey McKay (mum of Carlton's Harry and Essendon's Ben) and Jackie De Koning (mum of Carlton's Tom and Geelong's Sam) for Mums with Mics, where they share their insights into life growing up with promising young footballers who have turned into star AFL players, as well as talking with fellow mothers of AFL players who generously share their tales of footy, life and laughter. 

From the glamour of the Brownlow and Grand Final day, to the heartbreak of injury and retirement, and everything in between - including lost footy boots and emergency hospital trips - Mums with Mics shines a light on a family side of footy that you've never seen before. 


In this week's episode: 

  • Cherie Dear's footy dilemma when she married Hawks star Paul
  • Calsher's reality check after getting TWO footballs from Jack Riewoldt
  • The family's mad dash from France to Marvel Stadium for Calsher's debut
  • Her charity work for Dare to Hope, raising money for pancreatic cancer research
  • The role that mum plays in a famous footy family
  • The support that Hawthorn gave the Dear and Gunston families in their grief
  • Cherie's brain-fade moment in the coaches' box at the MCG

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