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AFL great Gary Ablett Sr reveals shock health diagnosis


AFL great Gary Ablett Sr has revealed he is suffering from brain damage as a result of multiple concussions suffered during his illustrious career.

The 61-year-old told News Corp he first experienced “headaches and skull pressure” in 2010, a condition that led to depression, anxiety and extreme fatigue.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Gary Ablett Sr the latest AFL great to reveal concussion battle.

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He had numerous scans to find the cause, but they didn’t pick up Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

However, after reading about the increasing number of former AFL players with issues he sought new scans late last year, which produced bleak results.

“From 2015 onwards, and almost every day, there were signs that things had changed, then about 12 months ago I started getting symptoms that alarmed me to the point where I contacted Peter Jess (Ablett’s former manager), whom I’m aware has been a concussion advocate for a number of past players,” he told News Corp.

Gary Ablett Jr and Sr embrace after a Geelong premiership in 2009. Credit: AFL Photos
Gary Ablett in action during his playing days in 1995. Credit: Getty Images

“I told him of my concerns and Peter helped organise an MEG scan that American Military use. It showed I have significant structural and functional brain damage.

“I’ve since been seeing a Psychiatrist named Dr John Perica once a month and receiving some new medical treatment that’s been helping reduce the headaches and improving my mood.”

It comes amid an intense focus on concussion in football, with the AFL facing class action from past players seeking compensation for their injuries.

On Tuesday, a class action was lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court by Margalit Injury Lawyers on behalf of more than 60 former AFL players.

But the second class action could have more than 200 players involved.

Gary Ablett Sr was famous for his towering marks and goalkicking ability. Credit: Tony Feder/Getty Images

The lead plaintiffs of the new class action are former Melbourne star forward Shaun Smith, Adelaide Crows flag hero Darren Jarman, and the wife of the late Shane Tuck.

Brownlow medallist John Platten and former Geelong and Essendon big man John Barnes are just two of the high-profile names among the group members of the second action.

Ablett, who kicked 1025 goals from 248 games to be widely considered as one of the greatest to ever play the game, also revealed he has been met with silence from the AFL Players’ Association.

“After providing them with all the information four months ago they just started avoiding me and not getting back to me which I find extremely disappointing and disrespectful,” he said.

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Source: 7News