June 21, 2024

Months after sustaining a concussion during the first quarter of the 2023 grand final, Nathan Murphy, a defender for Collingwood, has chosen to retire at the young age of 24. The decision to end his career was prompted by advice from the AFL medical concussion team.

Despite being a Premiership player in 2023, Murphy, who was drafted as the 39th pick by Collingwood in the 2017 national draft, played 57 AFL games for the Magpies, scoring one goal during his tenure.

The 24-year-old defender was given the green light to return to the game by the concussion panel during the pre-season, but a subsequent incident during training and another head knock in a match simulation kept him sidelined since the beginning of the current season.
Murphy, in his retirement announcement, shared his ongoing struggle with headaches, migraines, and some anxiety, attributing them to his decision.

He also revealed experiencing an estimated ten concussions throughout his career. Footy fans have taken to social media to respond to Murphy’s medical retirement, paying homage to the former Magpies standout and underscoring the priority of health over the sport.

Nathan Murphy, a Collingwood defender, has become the second AFL player this year to retire prematurely, following Angus Brayshaw. The 28-year-old former Melbourne star was advised to hang up his boots in February due to medical concerns stemming from a concussion he sustained during the 2023 qualifying final. Given the physical nature of Aussie rules football, which involves significant contact like smothering, bumping, and tackles, head injuries are a common occurrence.

However, when these injuries are deemed severe, the AFL medical concussion team may recommend players take a break or retire from the sport altogether.

Murphy’s retirement was prompted by recurring concussions, with multiple incidents in recent months leading to his decision to step away from the game.

His injury during the 2023 Grand Final victory over the Brisbane Lions was particularly noteworthy, and he faced another scare in a practice match before the 2024 season commenced.

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