‘Devastated’ Demon Brayshaw retires due to concussion

A notable absencen will Melbourne star Angus Brayshaw, forced to retiremement due to repeated concussions.

A notable absencen will Melbourne star Angus Brayshaw, forced to retiremement due to repeated concussions. Photo: AAP

Melbourne premiership player Angus Brayshaw has been forced to retire due to the concussion he suffered in last year’s AFL finals.

The 28-year-old informed the club on Thursday he would be bowing out of football, effective immediately, after extensive neurological testing.

Brayshaw was concussed 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 bump, which divided the football world and prompted the AFL to tinker with rules on smothers.

“I am devastated that I can no longer play the game that I love, but I respect the verdict of the medical professionals, and the importance of putting my health before my career,” Brayshaw said.

“I am really proud of what I have achieved over the past decade. I have been able to live out my childhood dream, and while it’s been cut short, I am forever grateful to everyone who has been involved.

“I want to especially thank my teammates, my coaches and the staff at the Melbourne Football Club, for all 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 over the journey.

“Concussion is a massive issue facing our game.

“I hope from this, a terrible result for me personally, can come some positive outcomes for the future of player safety.”

Brayshaw was ruled out of the Demons’ finals campaign, eventually returning to a modified training program.

But Melbourne say a recent scan revealed “microscopic changes” had developed in Brayshaw’s brain since the concussion.

“Today is a tough day for Angus and everyone involved given his love for the club and the game and how much he means to our people,” Melbourne chief executive Gary Pert said.

“He has been a respected, influential leader of the player group, while at the same time being a much-loved personality who brought laughter and fun to his teammates and the staff every day.”

Brayshaw bows out after having played 167 games, including the Demons’ 2021 grand-final win, since debuting in 2015.

He suffered significant concussion issues early in his career, leading to him taking an extended break in 2017.

It comes after Collingwood defender Nathan Murphy was last week put on a modified training program indefinitely after suffering a concussion in last year’s grand final win against the Brisbane Lions.

Former St Kilda and Sydney tall Paddy McCartin retired last August due to ongoing issues relating to concussion.


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