June 24, 2024

Retired Collingwood defender Nathan Murphy has provided a concerning update following his early retirement at just 24 years old last month.

The 2023 premiership winner stepped away from AFL in April to prioritize his long-term health after experiencing multiple concussions. Following advice from the AFL’s medical concussion panel, the Magpies made the decision to “medically retire” Murphy, who sustained his 10th concussion during last year’s grand final.

Despite being cleared to play by the panel in December, Murphy opted to retire after withdrawing from training in February.

Nathan Murphy explains the six month battle behind premiership player's  early AFL retirement - ABC News

Now, more than six weeks into retirement, Murphy disclosed that he continues to experience daily concussion symptoms.

“It’s been tough watching the boys play,” he said. “I’m still battling symptoms every day and working with professionals to hopefully improve that. I’ve been supported amazingly, which I’m so fortunate to have; other people don’t have that on offer. I’m in a really good space and focused on my health with good people around me.”

Murphy is the second player this year to retire due to concussions from last year’s finals, following Melbourne midfielder Angus Brayshaw.

He is the sixth AFL player to retire due to concussions in the past year, joining Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne), Paddy McCartin (Sydney), Paul Seedsman (Adelaide), Marcus Adams (Brisbane), and Max Lynch (Hawthorn).

Alarmingly, a recent survey revealed that one in ten AFL players hide their concussions.

Murphy is now supporting Connor’s Run, Australia’s largest event for pediatric brain cancer. Along with Essendon stars Archie Perkins and Andrew McGrath and Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard, he is serving as an ambassador for the event on September 15.

Connor’s Run commemorates Robert Connor Dawes, who died of brain cancer at 18.

“I’m an ex-Brighton Grammar boy, and I remember in my first year, I was in year 8, and we had the big funeral for Connor,” Murphy said. “It was amazing and awesome to see the community aspect, and I’ve done the run since the first year. Being a retired footballer now, I am able to jump on board.”

The AFL is currently negotiating a settlement to support former players affected by head injuries. Peter Jess, a prominent advocate for concussion awareness in the AFL, suggests the league should allocate up to $20 million annually for these players.

AFL 2023: Nathan Murphy could be forced to retire, concussion history, 10th  head knock in grand final, medical panel to decide future, Collingwood  Magpies, latest news

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