Grieving father's fury over 'sickening' Gary Ablett Sr comments

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Gary Ablett Sr, pictured here during his AFL career with Geelong.
Gary Ablett Sr opened up on tragic death of Alisha Horan. Image: 7News/Getty

The father of Alisha Horan has slammed Gary Ablett Sr after the AFL legend opened up about her death on Monday.

In an interview with charity Reclink Australia, Ablett revealed he’s still haunted by Horan’s death from an overdose in 2000.

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Horan, 20 at the time, was described by her father as an infatuated fan of Ablett when she died in the AFL legend’s hotel room at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne.

Horan had taken a combination of heroin, ecstasy and amphetamines during a five-day bender with Ablett.

The Hall of Famer was later cleared of criminal charges, but fined $1500 for using and possessing heroin and ecstasy.

On Monday the 59-year-old said the tragedy “broke him as a person”, admitting he wished he had been the one who died.

But Horan’s father Alan has since hit back at those comments, saying he hopes the AFL great is still suffering.

“I was sickened,” Mr Horan told 7News on Tuesday night, calling Ablett a “lying bastard”.

“I hope he’s still suffering.”

Mr Horan, who was too upset to appear on camera, showed 7News some photos of his daughter hanging on the wall at his home.

He has spoken out in condemnation of Ablett a number of times in the years since his daughter’s death and has reportedly never forgiven him.

Two years ago Mr Horan claimed Ablett has never apologised to his family and doesn’t believe anything he says.

Gary Ablett Sr, pictured here in action for Geelong in 1994.
Gary Ablett Sr in action for Geelong in 1994. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Gary Ablett Sr opens up on Alisha Horan tragedy

The normally reclusive Ablett described his shame about Horan’s death, saying he was speaking out in the hope that others would learn from his mistakes.

“There’s been times, especially when, with moral failure some 20 years ago where I was involved in drugs and there was a young lady that overdosed... I can’t tell you how much that shattered me, how much it broke me as a person,” the 59-year-old said.

“It still grieves me to this day.

“It’s only been my relationship with Jesus Christ that has got me through. Without him, I couldn’t have kept going; after that happened I didn’t want to be here for a number of years and I said to God, ‘you should have taken me instead’.

“It’s been a very painful experience… if only I could go back in time and change thing I would, unfortunately we don’t get that opportunity.

“That’s why choices in life are so important because once we’ve made a choice or a decision, we don’t get the chance to go back in time and change it.

“We need to make sure that we get our decisions right the first time, that’s been a big lesson for me, but I just wish I had have known that a lot earlier.”

Ablett played 248 VFL/AFL games across his illustrious career (242 with Geelong), kicking 1031 goals.

In 2005 he was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame, but after a delay of several years due to the death of Horan.

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