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AFL fans were delighted to see Ben Cousins looking happy and healthy as he posed for photos with West Coast Eagles supporters at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
Cousins was among the 50,834 supporters who turned out to watch the Eagles' thrilling win over Richmond.
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Photos of Cousins posing with excited fans have since been posted on social media, showing the former Brownlow medallist all smiles as he mingles with fellow supporters.
Cousins reportedly attended the game with his son, watching on as Josh Kennedy nailed a snap from the boundary line with 40 seconds remaining to lift West Coast to a pulsating four-point win.
Eagles fan Leonie King wrote on Facebook that Cousins “was looking healthy and happy” and she “hope he can keep it up.”
Another fan commented on a post on the West Eagles For Life Facebook page: “My husband had a great chat to him. He was so happy to talk. Gave him a hug too.
"I think he was just really appreciative that after everything has happened, people still care about him.”
Ben Cousins back playing footy after 10-year absence
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 captain spent more than six months behind bars before facing a two-day trial in Armadale Magistrates Court.
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.
Cousins has since laced up the boots for the first time in 10 years, turning out for the Queens Park Bulldogs in the Perth Metro Football League.
“The best thing about him is just the way he interacts with his teammates, opposition players,” club president 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.”
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