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Angus Brayshaw left 'devastated' as AFL world reacts to 'awful' retirement news

The 28-year-old has been forced to call time on his AFL career after his latest concussion last year.

Angus Brayshaw has been forced to retire from the AFL. Image: Getty/Instagram
Angus Brayshaw has been forced to retire from the AFL. Image: Getty/Instagram

Angus Brayshaw has been forced to retire from the AFL after the Melbourne Demons player's latest bout of concussion last year. Brayshaw was heavily concussed in a controversial incident with Brayden Maynard in the first week of the AFL finals in 2023, and didn't play again.

Maynard got off a charge and was free to play the remainder of the finals in a decision that proved highly divisive in the AFL world. The situation took another sad turn on Thursday when a "devastated" Brayshaw announced he was retiring on the advice of medical professionals.

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The 28-year-old informed his club on Thursday that he would be bowing out of football effective immediately, after extensive neurological testing. "I am devastated that I can no longer play the game that I love, but I respect the verdict of the medical professionals, and the importance of putting my health before my career," Brayshaw said.

"I am really proud of what I have achieved over the past decade. I have been able to live out my childhood dream and while it's been cut short, I am forever grateful to everyone who has been involved.

"I want to especially thank my teammates, my coaches and the staff at the Melbourne Football Club, for all they have done for me over the years. I also want to thank my family and my partner Danielle for their endless support. To every member and fan, thank you for your incredible support over the journey.

"Concussion is a massive issue facing our game. I hope from this, a terrible result for me personally, can come some positive outcomes for the future of player safety."

Angus Brayshaw was knocked unconscious in a controversial incident with Brayden Maynard.
Angus Brayshaw was knocked unconscious in a controversial incident with Brayden Maynard. (Getty Images)

AFL world left heartbroken over Angus Brayshaw retirement

The Demons revealed that a recent scan revealed "microscopic changes" had developed in Brayshaw's brain as a result of the latest concussion. "Today is a tough day for Angus and everyone involved given his love for the club and the game and how much he means to our people," Melbourne chief executive Gary Pert said. "He has been a respected, influential leader of the player group, while at the same time being a much-loved personality who brought laughter and fun to his teammates and the staff every day."

Brayshaw played 167 games in his career, including the Demons' drought-breaking premiership triumph in 2021. Since making his debut in 2015 he suffered a number of significant concussion issues, which led him to take an extended break from the game in 2017.

His partner Danielle is the daughter of late AFL legend Danny Frawley, who died in 2020 after a battle with mental health issues. After his death, Frawley was found to be suffering from severe CTE - a brain disease caused by repeated head injuries.

The incident with Maynard left the Brayshaw and Frawley families extremely rattled after it brought back some awful memories. AFL fans sent their well-wishes to Brayshaw when the retirement news emerged on Thursday.

with AAP

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