22/04/2024

Angus Brayshaw played 167 games for the Demons (Photo: Flickered / Wikimedia Commons)

Melbourne premiership player Angus Brayshaw has been medically retired effective immediately due to concussion problems.

The decision was made followed by neurological testing and consultations, forcing Brayshaw to medically retire. Recent scans showed “microscopic changes” in the 28-year-old’s brain following his concussion in the 2023 Qualifying Final against Collingwood.

Brayshaw has a history of concussions throughout his AFL career, pushing him to notably wear a helmet when in play.

“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 returned to training a few weeks ago but did not take part in the match simulation against Richmond.

The West Australian will end his AFL career having played 167 games and notching up 49 goals with the Demons, after being drafted at pick No. 3 in the 2014 draft. Brayshaw won a premiership with his beloved club in 2021, snapping the club’s 57 year flag drought. He had 25 disposals and a goal in the grand final victory against the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium.

AFL Senior Coach Simon Goodwin admires Brayshaw as a figure within the club and a person. He highlighted Brayshaw’s character, commitment and achievements when wearing the red and blue guernsey.

“As a coach, I am incredibly proud to have witnessed the impact ‘Gus’ has had on this Club, for a number of years,” Goodwin said.

“Gus’ ability to achieve what most players can only dream of, securing a Premiership medallion and being part of something special, stands as a testament to his exceptional skills and dedication.

“He has not only excelled on the field but has played a crucial role in shaping the standards and ethos of the Club. The legacy he leaves is something he should be immensely proud of.

“When I think of Angus Brayshaw, courage, leadership, selflessness and elite football ability all come to mind. Above all else though, he is just a great human being.

“Gus will always be a Melbourne person, and has our full support for this next chapter of his life.”

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Melbourne CEO Gary Pert praised Brayshaw on his efforts in the club. The Demons will look at options to keep the fan favourite involved in the football program.

“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,” Pert said.

“Currently, our total focus is going into supporting Angus, his fiancé Danielle and the broader Brayshaw family after this devastating news.

“From the day Angus arrived at the Club, he has had a huge effect. He was a superstar player that was instrumental in our 2021 Premiership success.

“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.

“As things settle down following the announcement, we will talk to Angus to explore keeping him involved in the program in whatever role is appropriate.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, and our members and supporters, I would like to thank Angus for his unwavering loyalty, courage and dedication to the club.”

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