Ben Cousins makes return to Aussie Rules after 10-year absence
Ben Cousins has laced up the boots for his first taste of Aussie Rules football in nearly 10 years.
The 42-year-old disgraced AFL star has rarely been seen in public since he was released from jail in December after being convicted of stalking his ex-partner.
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But over the weekend he turned out for the Queens Park Bulldogs in the Perth Metro Football League.
The former Brownlow Medallist appeared toe be in good physical shape as he helped the Bulldogs to a 40-point win over Koongamia.
Cousins reportedly kicked a goal in the third quarter and was loudly cheered by those in attendance.
A Queens Park president told The West Australian it was the biggest crowd he’d seen at a Bulldogs home game for a “very, very long time”.
“The best thing about him is just the way he interacts with his teammates, opposition players,” Ross White said.
“He cares about people and always gives his time just to talk and have photos.
“The sort of old Ben who cared about supporters is still that - and now it’s our supporters.
“They just love him.”
Last month, Cousins appeared happy and healthy as he posed for photos with fans at a West Coast Eagles game.
He told the West Australian he'd like to play six to 10 games this year after recovering from an ankle injury.
“It was just a rolled ankle at training so hopefully I can get back out there soon,” Cousins said in April.
“I’ve been training a couple of times a week.”
Ben Cousins' shocking fall from grace
Cousins was convicted of stalking his ex-partner but acquitted by a Perth court of restraining order breaches last November.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, including 20 counts of breaching a family violence restraining order relating to his ex-partner, Maylea Tinecheff, in April 2020.
The former West Coast Eagles captain spent more than six months behind bars before facing a two-day trial in Armadale Magistrates Court.
Magistrate Brian Mahon sentenced Cousins to seven months in prison but backdated it to his April 22 arrest.
Cousins has previously served almost a year behind bars for stalking Ms Tinecheff.
The 42-year-old has had well-documented issues with meth addiction and 22 convictions for VRO breaches - 20 of which resulted in a prison sentence.
The Brownlow Medal winner and six-time All Australian played 238 games for West Coast before he was axed in 2007 after he was arrested on drug-related charges.
He was banned by the AFL for 12 months for bringing the game into disrepute soon after he was dumped by the Eagles.
He went on to play 32 games in two years at Richmond before retiring at the age of 32 at the end of the 2010 season.
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