AFL news 2023, Gary Ablett Sr reveals brain damage from concussion during his career


AFL legend Gary Ablett Sr has revealed a worrying diagnosis which he says is linked to head injuries sustained during his career.

Ablett, 61, is nicknamed ‘God’ and is widely regarded as one of the greatest Australian rules footballers of all time, and is regularly in conversation as the greatest of all time.

But in a career that has tallied 1,031 goals, a Norm Smith medal, three Coleman medals and four All-Australian jumpers, Ablett estimates he’s been concussed “eight or 10 times”.

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Now scans have revealed “significant structural and functional brain damage” in the sports legend.

“I started having headaches and pressure at the top of my head around 2010, initially a few days a week,” Ablett told the Herald Sun.sun herald.

Geelong legend Gary Ablett Sr has revealed worrying brain damage. (Getty)

“This then led to depression, anxiety and extreme fatigue. Under the advice of doctors, I then had many scans to try to find the cause of the headaches and cranial pressure.

“From 2015, and almost every day, there were signs that things had changed, then about 12 months ago I started having symptoms that alarmed me to the point that I contacted (my former manager) Peter (Jess), who I am aware has been a concussion advocate for a number of former players.”

It was Jess who helped organize an MEG scan at the Swinburne Neuroimaging Facility in November, the results of which were grim.

Ablett now sees a psychiatrist every month and has been prescribed a new medication that “helps reduce headaches and improve my mood.”

The AFL is currently facing two class action lawsuits from former players who claim long-term health consequences from football-related concussions.

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