North Melbourne great Wayne Carey has played down a widely-reported stoush with former teammate Anthony Stevens at a premiership reunion last weekend.
The well-known cheating scandal between Carey and Stevens, which ultimately prompted the former to leave the club back in 2002, has long simmered between the pair but Carey said reports of them having an altercation last weekend had been exaggerated.
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After it emerged that the pair had a coming together, Carey sought to clear the air on Triple M, accusing SEN reporter of distorting what had happened, describing it as a 'firm conversation'.
In 2002 Carey was memorably caught with Stevens' then wife in a bathroom by teammate and Kangaroos legend Glenn Archer, an event that divided North Melbourne players and ruined their hopes of contending for premiersships throughout the early 2000s.
Carey told Triple M that he had started a conversation with Stevens because he was 'worried' about the former club captain, a sentiment Carey said was met with 'umbrage'.
Ultimately though, Carey insisted it 'wasn’t a story and still isn’t a story', denying the pair ever came to blows.
“There was a firm conversation – altercation I think is even too firm to say that occurred," he said.
“I wanted to have a conversation about Stevo, I was worried about him. I said ‘I’m worried about you’ and he obviously took a little bit of umbrage to me saying I was worried about him.
“I said I’m worried about, I want him to look after himself like people want me to look after myself.
“To say that it was a massive altercation and it came to blows and then we left there and everyone was upset with everyone and it was a big thing is totally incorrect – that’s the disappointing thing about it.
“It wasn’t a story and still isn’t a story.
“I hope I’ve just cleared up that once again this has been blown into something it wasn’t."
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) August 8, 2022
Wayne Carey rips into AFL journalist over Anthony Stevens story
Carey went on to claim he and Stevens moved on from the conversation on the same night without any issues, adding that the pair had awaited lifts home together out the front of the pub.
The 51-year-old, who played 272 games and kicked 727 goals, sat out the 2002 AFL season after the scandal emerged.
He returned to the AFL with the Adelaide Crows in 2003, playing 28 games across two seasons before announcing his retirement.
Carey took a potshot at Edmund for his initial reporting of the story.
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) August 10, 2022
“Witnesses said...that Carey went at Stevens, accusing him of talking behind his back, telling people not to bother trying to catch up with him but then being fine in-person,” Edmund said on Monday, describing the incident as an 'ugly altercation'.
However Carey was not at all pleased with that description, saying Edmund had 'had a shocker'.
“(Sam’s) let himself down with this.
“You know what Sam? We all have bad days. You’ve had a shocker.
“What he did leave out was at the end of the night or the evening or late afternoon or whatever it was, Stevo and I actually had a couple of beers together and left together.
“We were standing out the front both waiting for our respective Ubers to leave the particular venue. He left that out.
“It sounds like we’ve had this massive blow up and an altercation and as he said we came to blows which was clearly factually incorrect.”
Carey insisted that Steven' no-show at the following day's parade for Kangaroos fans was simply because he had been ill, and many of his other former teammates also felt there was nothing newsworthy about the premiership reunion.
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