ALL PLAYERS will wear two black armbands in the opening round of the AFL finals to support the Varcoe and Sloane families.

Collingwood forward Travis Varcoe wants to play in Saturday's qualifying final against West Coast following the death of his sister from injuries sustained in an AFL game.

Adelaide star Rory Sloane and his wife Belinda are mourning the loss of their first-born son Leo.

Richmond captain Trent Cotchin instigated the gesture, which the AFL and the AFL Players' Association announced in a joint statement.

"The football industry does an incredible job to unite behind people who are going through adversity," said AFLPA boss Paul Marsh.

"Rory and Travis are two very popular members of the playing group and this gesture, albeit small, shows the level of respect players from across the competition have for each other."

At Friday night's elimination final, Geelong will also acknowledge former Cats and Bulldogs player Ian Hampshire, who has died after battling illness.