Retired Richmond legend Trent Cotchin has given insight on his relationship with now close friend Dustin Martin, who he said is the polar opposite of him. Cotchin admitted that when Martin came to the club in 2010 he "didn't want to associate" with him due to his appearance and persona.
It was the same time as when Ben Cousins was at the club, with the former West Coast star banned for 12 months after being arrested for drug possession in Perth before hanging up his boots at the conclusion of the 2010 season. “It’s kind of black and white. The tattoo guy that has a little bit of attitude comes across like he doesn’t give a s**t to anything or anyone in the world,” Cotchin told Sarah Grynberg on her A Life Of Greatness podcast.
'EXPLOITING THE RULES': AFL fans left fuming over 'unfair' move
'WHAT A JOKE': AFL fans left in disbelief over Buddy Franklin news
“And then I’m this other guy trying to make everyone happy and no tattoos and pretty cleanskin kind of guy. Less partying And when he first came in it was kind of like, he had the tattoo that was on the back of all the Ben Cousins stuff.
"I think Dusty’s said ‘Live free, die free’, obviously 'Cuzzy' had ‘Such is life’ across his stomach. So he already had been tarred with this bad-boy brush, which I kind of didn’t want to associate with, to be fair."
Cotchin said although it was clear Martin was talented and they would forge a friendship on the field he believed off it they weren't going to be mates. However, after learning of Martin's backstory and getting to know him more, the pair formed an unlikely friendship.
“What made it so beautiful, kind of understanding each other and learning more about him and what made him tick and then establishing how connected he is to this spiritual part of the world, which I don’t think anyone would ever believe me," Cotchin said.
The former Richmond captain said the pair built a close bond when his wife Brooke invited Martin to move in with them after he got in several off-field scuffles, namely threatening a woman with a chopstick at a Melbourne restaurant back in December 2015.
“He obviously liked the idea and came along and I think that was a period in his life when he was probably in one of his lower points,” Cotchin said. “I’ll never forget the day that his old man came over as well because Shane was a humungous Maori man, tattoos all over his face, his body, so a pretty scary and daunting kind of character. But for whatever reason, when he walked in our door I felt so much safer in my own home.”
Cotchin wants to see a Dustin Martin autobiography
While Cotchin has been promoting his own book release, From The Heart, the 33-year-old says he would be fascinated to read a memoir of Martin's life. He says his former teammate is into spiritual connection and has had numerous intense diets.
“I remember he had come over one day and he was just hellbent on Brooke and I watching this documentary and it was called Heal,” Cotchin said. “He was like ‘This is amazing, you don’t need any kind of medication, you can heal yourself from within'."
“He got right into yoga and then when he had his injury more recently with his (lacerated) kidney (in 2021), he did this grape and fruit diet where he lost 12, 13 kilos because of these ‘wizards’ from overseas that he’d been following on Instagram."
Cotchin says Martin has never been scared of trying new things and always wants to feel connected to whatever he is engaging in “He wasn’t scared of trying those sorts of things ... these are all the things that he was connecting to and were an important part of him feeling his best," he said.
"I do hope that at some stage in his lifetime that he goes deeper on his whole story. I think he’s written a book and it’s probably more pictures and people speaking about his journey rather than him actually talking to it. But it would be an interesting read.”
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.