'Wouldn't have made it': New details after AFL great's heart attack

·4-min read
Peter Matera, pictured here before his major heart attack.
Peter Matera is recovering in hospital after a major heart attack. Image: Getty/West Coast Eagles

New details have emerged around AFL great Peter Matera's heart attack, with wife Suzy credited with saving the West Coast Eagles champion's life.

The 53-year-old Matera is recovering after he suffered the heart attack on Sunday and was rushed to hospital, where he had two stents inserted.

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"He's in hospital in Bendigo right now ... two stents in his heart and rehabilitating as we speak," Brownlow medallist Brad Hardie told Perth radio station 6PR on Monday.

According to younger brother Phil, who also played for the Eagles, Matera’s wife Suzy may have saved Peter's life.

Matera was rushed 90 kilometres to hospital, with the actions of Suzy credited with keeping him alive.

Peter Matera, pictured here in action for the West Coast Eagles.
Peter Matera in action for the West Coast Eagles. (Mark Dadswell/GettyImages)

“The doctor was saying he was lucky he had someone with him and they could get him straight into the hospital,” Phil Matera told 7News.

“He was chopping wood and got a few pains in his chest and luckily he wasn’t out on the tractor like he normally is.”

Suzy was nearby when her husband collapsed.

“Fortunately his partner Suzy was close by. If he was by himself, he wouldn’t have made it,” 7News reporter Adrian Barich said.

“He was in a lot of pain and told he may not have survived a flight to Melbourne.”

Peter Matera, pictured here with West Coast teammate Ashley McIntosh in 2001.
Peter Matera (R) with West Coast teammate Ashley McIntosh in 2001. (Darrin Braybrook/ALLSPORT)

Phil Matera is set to fly to Victoria to visit his older sibling, while flag-winning Eagles player Guy McKenna is also planning to visit his former long-time teammate in hospital.

"The club is saddened by this news and wishes Peter a speedy and full recovery," West Coast said in a statement.

"Our thoughts are with Peter, Suzy and his family, who have requested for their privacy to be respected at this time."

Matera was due to fly back to Western Australia for the club’s 30-year anniversary celebrations of their 1992 premiership.

“I thank (everyone) for all for their support and well wishes,” Phil said.

“(Peter) was telling me last week how excited he was to get back to the reunion.”

Matera the latest heart attack to rock Australian sport

Matera is one of West Coast's all-time greatest players, having won two premierships and five All-Australian jumpers during his glittering 253-game AFL career.

He also won the Norm Smith medal in 1992 for his breathtaking five-goal display in the club's 28-point grand final win over Geelong.

Matera's long-range goals in that decider were the stuff of folklore, with his performance ensuring West Coast became the first non-Victorian club to win an AFL flag.

His health scare comes after a series of tragic heart attacks among Australia's sporting royalty in recent months.

Former Test cricket stars Shane Warne and Rod Marsh died in March, while ex-WA cricketer Ryan Campbell is also lucky to be alive after suffering a cardiac arrest in April.

Essendon great Dean Wallis also suffered a major heart attack in March, just days after the deaths of Marsh and Warne.

The premiership hero and former coach underwent emergency surgery, but is expected to make a full recovery.

with AAP

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