Richmond grand final hero's devastating family tragedy

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Jayden Short, pictured here talking about his father's death.
Jayden Short broke down while talking about his father's death. Image: Richmond FC

Jayden Short has broken down in tears during an emotional tribute to his family after winning Richmond’s Best and Fairest award.

Short, who played an absolute blinder in Richmond’s grand final triumph over Geelong on Saturday night, was awarded the Jack Dyer Medal on Monday.

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During an emotional acceptance speech, the 24-year was brought to tears as he spoke about his family and the recent death of his father.

“Obviously 2020 started pretty s**t for me. I lost my old man,” Short said, choking up.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen this year.

“To win this it’s an amazing feeling and it’s a little bit of recognition for a little bit of hard work that I’ve had to put in along the way.

“I love this club, I love this group, the coaches.”

Dustin Martin put a reassuring hand on Short’s shoulder as he opened up about his family pain.

“I just want to say thanks to my mum, my sister, my girlfriend,” he said.

“They’re doing it tough in Melbourne. Left my mum and my sister at home, lost my old man so that’s pretty challenging in itself.

“But I’m proud of you guys and I love you to bits.

“Thanks to my girlfriend for all the support, all my mates back home, all you players, coaches and the staff for making this such an enjoyable place.

“I’ve honestly loved my time here. Obviously it’s had its challenges this year but it’s an unbelievable place to be and I love everyone.”

Short received 53 votes to win the award, just ahead of Norm Smith medallist Martin on 50 and Nick Vlastuin on 49.

Jayden Short, pictured here in action for Richmond during the AFL grand final.
Jayden Short in action for Richmond during the AFL grand final. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“To hear him speak today about his family and the fact he lost his father earlier in the year was incredibly moving,” coach Damian Hardwick told Fox Footy on Monday night.

“It’s an incredible honour to his dad, he strived for that. He really gets the reward he deserves.

“He’s a very, very important player to us, the way he moves the ball. He’s an outstanding teammate, he’s very popular amongst our playing group.

“He’s probably a little bit underrated but he had an incredible season and it’s well deserved.”

Jayden Short caught in Norm Smith medal gaffe

Short also polled well in voting for the Norm Smith medal - best on ground in the grand final - despite Leigh Matthews’ major blunder.

On Sunday the AFL legend said he mistakenly handed Nathan Broad two votes when he meant to give them to Short.

Dustin Martin was the unanimous winner with 15 votes, ahead of Short (six), Shane Edwards (four), Geelong's Mitch Duncan (three) and Broad (two) - with voting chair Matthews the only judge to hand Broad votes.

On Sunday, Matthews said he meant to give Short - who had 25 disposals and an incredible 771 metres gained - two votes ahead of Broad's eight-disposal effort.

“If I put down the name Broad instead of the name Short when I was being hustled at the end of the game ... (when) you've got to write down the names quickly - I'm glad Broad didn't (win it) or Short (didn't miss out) by a couple of votes,” Matthews said.

“I didn't see the others voting but I'm sure everyone gave Martin best on the ground, that was so obvious. So I guess the twos and ones don't matter that much.

“But if I put Broad down that was a very big mistake on my part - it was definitely Short, two, and Edwards one.”

The AFL confirmed Matthews had written Broad on his voting sheet, not Short, although given Martin's dominance Matthews blooper did not affect the winner.

with AAP

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