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Gary Ablett Sr selling Norm Smith and Coleman medals amid sad situation for AFL icon

The Geelong Cats legend is doing it tough and has made a staggering call.

AFL legend Gary Ablett Sr is selling off all of his individual awards and accolades that he won throughout his career. Kane Cornes revealed the news on SEN radio on Monday that Ablett is auctioning all of his memorabilia through a sports entertainment company.

The company - 'Entertainment by Vin' - posted a photo on their social media accounts of the Leigh Matthews Trophy that Ablett won in 1993 for MVP of the league. They wrote in the caption: 'Buy this!'

Gary Ablett Sr, pictured here in the AFL.
Gary Ablett Sr is selling off all of his memorabilia, including his Norm Smith medals. Image: Getty

Cornes said Ablett is selling over 200 personal items, including his Norm Smith Medal from 1989 (for best on ground in the grand final), and three Coleman Medals (for leading goal-kicker in 1993, 1994 and 1995).

“This has come across my desk today and it's a reasonable story that hasn't been reported yet,” Cornes said. “Gary Ablett Sr, his catalogue is being pieced together right now.

“So all of Gary Ablett Sr’s personal items are up for sale. We're talking the Leigh Matthews 1993 trophy, we’re talking the 1989 Norm Smith Medal, we’re talking the Coleman Medals, we’re talking boots, jumpers.

"200 plus items of Gary Ablett Sr’s are up for sale. He is selling everything. Some items I'm assuming will be packaged up. There's posters, there’s signs, there's his Geelong guernsey, there's his boots.

“Anything Gary Ablett related, he has kept it all, there’s 200-plus items. It has been sold by an Instagram account by the name of Entertainment by Vin. The first item that is up for sale and is up now is the Leigh Matthews 1993 Trophy.”

Gary Ablett, pictured here in action for Geelong in 1998.
Gary Ablett in action for Geelong in 1998. (Getty Images)

Cornes said he hoped whoever bought the most prized possessions would give them to Geelong to put on display at the club's headquarters. “I'm hoping there is a rich Geelong businessman who is down there that buys the really special items and it can go into a museum or it can go to the club,” Cornes said. “That's my hope for it.”

Gary Ablett Sr struggling financially due to health issues

The father of fellow Geelong Cats great Gary Ablett Jr, the elder Ablett became an icon of the AFL in the 80s and 90s. The 62-year-old played 242 games for Geelong in the VFL and AFL, kicking 1031 goals throughout his career (which also included six games for Hawthorn). He was a four-time All-Australian and was Geelong's leading goal-kicker in nine seasons.

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Last year it emerged that he was suing the AFL, Geelong and Hawthorn over concussions he suffered throughout his career. Ablett Sr revealed he has suffered from headaches, blurred vision and memory loss as he has aged, and is struggling to make ends meet due to the care he requires.

Billy Brownless and Gary Ablett, pictured here with Geelong in 1995.
Billy Brownless (L) and Gary Ablett (centre) in 1995. (Getty Images)

He said he underwent a brain scan in November 2022, which revealed structural and functional brain damage. “One of the biggest challenges for Gary is he very much is left without the means and ability to fund the care he now requires, given his condition,” lawyer Michel Margalit said last year. “This is really why he’s been forced, in a sense, to bring the claim - to be able to afford both the medical expenses and medical care he requires ... and those costs will only continue to increase.

“He really struggles on a daily basis, and it is very typical symptomatology you see from players, or athletes, who suffer these concussion-related injuries around the world. There is everything from memory loss to being unable to work and many other symptoms.”

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