'So sad': Sickening incident forces Liam Picken into retirement

Western Bulldogs veteran Liam Picken has announced his retirement amid ongoing battles with concussion.

The 32-year-old premiership player was knocked out in a sickening collision with a teammate in a pre-season match 12 months ago.

However persistent concussion symptoms mean he’s never been able to get back on the field.

Picken, who made his AFL debut in 2009 and has played 198 games, told his teammates on Monday he would retire effective immediately.

Liam Picken lies on the field injured. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

It was his second significant head knock in less than a year, after he was knocked out following a collision with Fremantle’s Tom Sheridan in 2017.

Picken’s wife later share a photo of their son in tears after seeing his dad being stretchered from the field.

“This pic (sic) is one of a thousand reasons why this is more than a game to us,” she wrote.

“Knocks to the head will always be my most hated part of this sport.”

With strong AFL bloodlines with his dad Billy a Collingwood star and his brother Marcus and cousin Jonathon also AFL players, Picken became a Bulldogs fan favourite with his performance during the 2016 finals series.

A talented midfielder/forward, he kicked eight goals in four games, including three in the grand final win over Sydney.

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said the father of three typified the core values of the club.

“We have always had a family-first mentality at the Bulldogs, and that should always be the overriding consideration when it comes to a player’s health and any impact that has on playing football,” Beveridge said.

“Liam can be immensely proud of his achievements.

“He is loved and admired within the club, and universally respected by the whole football public, which is a true indication of the impression he has made on the game.”

Liam Picken celebrates a goal in a 2016 semi-final. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Bulldogs Director of Football Chris Grant said the club would continue to support Picken into his retirement.

“Over the last 12 months our focus has been to support Liam by providing him with the best medical care and ensuring his health is our number one priority,” Grant said.

“We will continue to provide off-field assistance for Liam to ensure he has the necessary support to return to full health, including his transition into the next chapter of his working career.”

The AFL world reacted with sadness at the news of his retirement.

with AAP