WARNING: The following article contains graphic images that some readers may find confronting.
A graphic image taken of Fremantle youngster Andrew Brayshaw after he was floored by a ‘king hit’ has revealed the truly shocking extent of his injuries.
After his club announced the midfielder’s season was over with a badly broken jaw and severe damage to his teeth, an image, uploaded to the ‘Fremantle Football Club Supporters Page’, began to circulate online.
The confronting picture shows Brayshaw missing a number of teeth, with the lower part of his face completely swollen, after the horrific blow from West Coast star Andrew Gaff.
The image was taken moments before Brayshaw was transported to Royal Perth Hospital for emergency treatment, following Sunday’s western derby at Optus Stadium.
The distressed youngster will be unable to eat solids for more than a month as a result of the injuries.
Meanwhile, out-of-contract West Coast star Gaff will likely be sent straight to the tribunal to answer for his brutal act.
The Eagles have been slammed for their response to the incident at Optus Stadium, due to the way a number of players and fans responded during the game.
Meanwhile, a high-profile lawyer has suggested Gaff should be facing criminal charges after his sickening strike.
As bad as Barry Hall?
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said he was distressed by the “king hit”, and referred to Barry Hall’s seven-week ban for a punch on Brent Staker in 2008 as a precedent for what the tribunal might hand down.
Melbourne’s Tom Bugg copped a six-match suspension last year for striking Sydney’s Callum Mills in similar fashion to Gaff’s punch.
But Mills wasn’t seriously hurt, and was able to play the next week.
In contrast, 18-year-old Brayshaw will miss the rest of the season.
Gaff apologised for his actions after the match, saying he did the wrong thing and it made him feel sick.
But his remorse won’t save him from a lengthy ban.
If Gaff cops a seven-week ban, it means his season will be over – even if West Coast reach the grand final.
A six-week ban would free him to play in the grand final – but only if the Eagles lose in the first week of finals.
Gaff becomes a restricted free agent at season’s end, meaning he may have played his last game for West Coast.
AFL match review officer Michael Christian will have a busy time reviewing the fiery western derby, which the Eagles won by 58 points to take a stranglehold on second spot.
Fremantle veteran Michael Johnson could be suspended for his high hip-and-shoulder to the head that left Gaff dazed.
And Eagles goalsneak Liam Ryan could be in trouble for his high bump on Lachie Neale after the Docker had disposed of the ball.
A host of other Eagles and Dockers players will also cop fines for their involvement in the fiery melees that marred the second half.
In other games, North Melbourne’s Ben Cunnington landed a body blow on Dayne Beams that will get looked at, as did Essendon’s Cale Hooker on Hawthorn’s Ryan Schoenmakers.