Media not welcome at WA Cousins luncheon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Media not welcome at WA Cousins luncheon

By Justin Chadwick 30/08/2009 06:00:02 PM Comments (0)

Ben Cousins was happy to be back in the "wild, wild west" but it seemed he wasn't too keen on a reunion with Perth's journalists.

Sports writers from various Perth media outlets were barred from a fundraising luncheon on Sunday that had been marketed as an event where Cousins would be speaking "in his own words" about his battle with drug addiction.

Event organisers went to stringent lengths to try to ensure those words never left the room, with reporters evicted one by one as they listened in on the former West Coast skipper speaking candidly about his turbulent journey in life and football.

More than 600 people attended the $2,000 a table function, which also featured Kevin Sheedy as a guest speaker.

"Excited, very humbling, it's very nice to be back in the wild, wild west," Cousins told a packed ballroom at the Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre after receiving a standing ovation upon his entry.

"I've grown up at the West Coast Eagles.

"I have done a lot of growing up and there's been a lot of indiscretions along the way but there's been a hell of a lot of good times and great memories."

"I've got fond memories of my time in Perth and at West Coast.

"And then to extend that into my time at Richmond, it just continues to be an amazing journey."

Cousins auctioned off his 2006 grand final guernsey as well as the jumper he wore in his Richmond debut - when he injured his hamstring in round one against Carlton.

Proceeds will be directed to drug and alcohol counselling service Cyrenian House, a not-for-profit non-government organisation.

"They are clearly the two most significant jumpers that I've ever played in and Cyrenian House is a fantastic drug and alcohol treatment facility that does an enormous amount of work in the community," Cousins said.

"I'm not the sort of person to ever put my jumper up on a wall at home so I think it can go to somebody that can put it to better use and we can raise some great money for a good cause.

"The premiership jumper is symbolic of all the great things that I was able to be part of at West Coast, culminating in a premiership.

"And the jumper that I played in, in my comeback from rehab, is a really significant jumper for me because it's symbolic of the long road back to recovery.

"I'm all too aware of the scrutiny and pressure that I was put under in the lead-up to that game and, without sounding like a wanker, I am proud of the way I was able to, I guess just be single-minded in my approach to that game and to get through it ... and yeah, so it really does hold some real sentimental value for me."

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