Bradshaw left mark on AFL birth rights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bradshaw left mark on AFL birth rights

Darren Cartwright 17/06/2011 02:09:49 PM Comments (0)

Daniel Bradshaw heads into retirement with a legacy beyond his two premierships, widely regarded as the first AFL player to put the birth of his baby before playing in a final.

Beset by chronic knee injuries, the 32-year-old Bradshaw called time on his career on Friday after 231 games and 524 goals.

While the 2001 and 2003 premierships with Brisbane were career highpoints for the Sydney forward, he'll also be remembered for his stand as a dad-to-be.

Bradshaw was the subject of intense media debate when he withdrew on the morning of Brisbane's second semi-final against Carlton at the MCG in September, 2000 after his wife Angie went into premature labour.

Lions coach Leigh Matthews woke that morning to learn that his second highest goal scorer for the year had taken off to be by his wife's side.

Matthews' game plan for the cut-throat final was affected and the Lions went on to lose by 13 goals.

The AFL legend said at the time it was Bradshaw's right to be at the birth of his first child, Jake, but it meant "the whole group suffered".

Lions coach Michael Voss - then the skipper - recalls the controversy surrounding Bradshaw's absence and the questions fired at coaches and players about whether they would have made the same decision or played, with the team's season on the line.

"We didn't have a great day that night either, but he certainly made it a topic of conversation that's for sure," Voss said.

Voss and Bradhsaw, 32, are no longer on talking terms.

They had a falling out when coach Voss offered his former premiership teammate up as trade bait in a bid to snare Carlton discard Brendan Fevola at the end of the 2009 season.

Offended by the move, Bradshaw opted for the pre-season draft and landed at Sydney.

The bitter taste of being offered as a trade remains and was the reason Bradshaw snubbed the Lions' 10-year 2001 premiership reunion in March.

Voss said it was disappointing to hear Bradshaw announce his retirement and the years playing alongside him, especially in finals and grand finals, were still vivid in his memory.

"Obviously finishing with an injury is disappointing, you don't like to see that with anyone," Voss said.

"He has been a very, very serviceable player for us over along period of time.

"It's disappointing, but it's good to be able offer congratulations for a great career."

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