- Melbourne Demons star eliminated in last year’s final
- The concussion was added to other problematic blows to the head.
- He starred in the team that won the prime ministership in 2021.
Melbourne premiership player Angus Brayshaw was forced to retire due to the concussion he suffered in last year’s AFL final.
The 28-year-old informed the club on Thursday that he would be retiring from football, with immediate effect, after extensive neurological tests.
Brayshaw suffered a concussion after Collingwood defender Brayden Maynard attempted to smother the Demons midfielder’s kick in the first quarter of the qualifying final.
Maynard escaped suspension for the controversial hit, which divided the football world and led the AFL to change its choking rules.
“I am devastated that I can no longer play the game I love, but I respect the verdict of the medical professionals and the importance of putting my health before my career,” Brayshaw said.
Brayshaw (pictured last year) will be remembered by Demons fans for the brave mark and goal that turned the tide in the club’s 2021 grand final victory.
The star is shown being eliminated in last year’s final series after being knocked out by Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard. The hit proved to be the last straw for Brayshaw’s career.
‘I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved over the last decade. I have been able to make my childhood dream come true and, although it has been cut short, I will be eternally grateful to everyone who has participated.
“I especially want to thank my teammates, my coaches and the staff at the Melbourne Football Club for everything they have done for me over the years.
‘I also want to thank my family and my partner Danielle for their endless support. To every member and fan, thank you for your incredible support throughout the journey.
‘Concussion is a huge problem facing our game.
“I hope that from this terrible result for me personally, positive results can be obtained for the future of player safety.”
Brayshaw was ruled out of the Demons’ final campaign and eventually returned to a modified training program.
The 28-year-old (pictured with fiancee Danielle Frawley) said he was able to “make my childhood dream come true” during his 167-game career.
Brayshaw (pictured with Frawley at the 2022 Brownlow Medal ceremony) had to take a break from football in 2017 after suffering head knocks.
But Melbourne says a recent scan revealed “microscopic changes” had developed in Brayshaw’s brain since the concussion.
“Today is a difficult day for Angus and everyone involved, given his love for the club and the game and how much it means to our people,” Melbourne chief executive Gary Pert said.
“He has been a respected and influential leader of the playing group, and at the same time a much-loved personality who made his teammates and staff laugh and amuse every day.”
Brayshaw retires having played 167 matches, including the Demons’ 2021 grand final victory, since his debut in 2015.
He suffered major concussion issues early in his career, leading him to take an extended break in 2017.
It comes after Collingwood defender Nathan Murphy was last week placed on an indefinitely modified training program after suffering a concussion in last year’s grand final against the Brisbane Lions.
Former St Kilda and Sydney player Paddy McCartin retired last August due to ongoing concussion-related issues.