West Coast Eagles stalwart Brad Sheppard forced into retirement following multiple concussions

West Coast veteran Brad Sheppard has been forced to retire after multiple concussions prompted fears for his long-term heath.

Sheppard did not play again after being concussed in the round 22 derby, his second head injury in barely two months, admitting he was concerned at the time about the lingering impact.

The 30-year-old has been one of the Eagles’ most important players for the past decade, ending his illustrious career after 216 games.

Sheppard, who the Eagles drafted in 2009, was named in the 2020 All-Australian side and was a key part of the West Coast side which made it to the 2015 Grand Final.

But the defender missed out on premiership glory in 2018, after suffering a hamstring injury earlier in the finals series.

Sheppard is the second Eagle to retire in a matter of months for concussion-related reasons, with Daniel Venables walking away from the game in August after a medical panel recommended he avoid contact sport.

Venables was injured in 2019 but did not play again, after symptoms persisted.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Eagles said Sheppard’s decision came after “assessing medical advice and considering his long-term future”.

Sheppard was described as “one of the mainstays of West Coast’s accomplished defence under coach Adam Simpson” and “one of the most popular players of his generation for his unflinching commitment to the contest”.

The spokesman said Sheppard would step away from the game to “contemplate the next phase of his life”.

“He retires as a man with universal respect at every level of the football club, evidenced when he won the highly acclaimed Chris Mainwaring Medal as best clubman in 2020.”

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