Australia’s fourth football player had a CTE before his death



Yesterday, a former captain of a championship-winning Australian football team became the fourth player in the league to be posthumously diagnosed with a debilitating neurological disease linked to head trauma and concussions.

Murray Weideman, who led the Collingwood Magpies to a great final victory over Melbourne in 1958 in the Victorian Football League, joins Danny Frawley, Graham Farmer and Shane Tuck for detecting and diagnosing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) over the course of both last years.

The Victorian Football League was the forerunner of the Australian Football League.

Weideman’s family revealed the findings of the Australian Sports Brain Bank report yesterday.

Weideman died in February, a day after his 85th birthday. After noticing some serious changes in Weideman’s personality over the past few years, his family told him about his brain donation.

“I said, ‘Daddy we have to do this, we have to help,” his son Mark Weideman told News Corp. media. “The more science can accumulate and obtain evidence, the better things will be in the future.”

“He was 100% behind that,” he added. “You don’t really think about it because your life is going pretty well for a long time, but then it starts late.”

Farmer, who played with the Geelong Cats, was the first Australian footballer to be diagnosed with CTE in February last year.

Former Richmond midfielder Tuck was assessed as having the ‘worst case’ of CTE when the results were revealed by the brain bank in January.

Frawley died in 2019 at the age of 56.

The Victorian Coroners Court said in a report that Frawley was battling depression when he crashed his car into a tree outside Melbourne.

Police estimated the vehicle was traveling at least 130 km / h at the time of impact.

Frawley, who played 230 games for the St Kilda Saints from 1984 to 1995, had spoken publicly about his battles for mental health.

No alcohol or illicit drugs were found in his body on the day of his death and he was posthumously diagnosed with CTE.

Frawley’s wife Anita said he was “never the same” even after treatment for depression.

“For his family, Mr. Frawley would stay in bed all week and be in dire need, but he would be able to display a courageous ‘public face’ and give the appearance of normal functioning,” the report said.

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