Western Bulldogs premiership star Tom Boyd retires from AFL amid mental health battle


May 16, 2019 15:55:13

Western Bulldogs premiership player Tom Boyd has announced his retirement from the AFL, effective immediately.

Key points:

  • Tom Boyd was the number one draft pick in 2013 for the GWS Giants
  • Boyd spent time out the game in 2017 to deal with mental health issues
  • Boyd won the 2016 premiership with the Western Bulldogs, kicking two goals

Boyd, 23, said the physical and emotional stress of playing had taken a toll and he no longer enjoyed the game.

“My decision to retire now is a reflection of issues I’ve had over the past five years, both with physical injury and with mental health,” Boyd said,

“They have now accumulated to a point where I just don’t have the desire to play or the enjoyment of the game I used to have.

“I’ve spoken with key people at the Western Bulldogs and my close friends and family, and I am satisfied that this is the right decision for my future.”

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Boyd was picked first in the 2013 draft by the GWS Giants, but he left Sydney the following year as part of a mammoth trade deal with the Bulldogs, which saw the Bulldogs’ then-captain Ryan Griffen head to Western Sydney in place of Boyd and a future draft pick.

However, Boyd only managed 61 senior games in his five seasons in the AFL, and has not played at all this season due to a back injury.

“I’m grateful to both to the Giants and the Bulldogs for allowing me the opportunity to experience playing football at the highest level,” Boyd said.

“I have received unbelievable support from the players, coaches and staff at the Western Bulldogs, particularly over the last couple of years, which I will always appreciate.

“Leaving the game as a premiership player is something I will always be proud of, along with all the enduring relationships I have forged and the memories I have created along the way.”

Boyd was a key player when in 2016 the Bulldogs ended a 62-year premiership drought with a 22-point victory over the Sydney Swans.

The forward-turned-ruckman scored three goals in the grand final as the unfancied Bulldogs came from seventh on the ladder — the first time a team finishing seventh has done so in AFL/VFL history.

However, the following season Boyd spent a period of time out of the game, with the club revealing he had been dealing with depression.

“Everyone at the Bulldogs is saddened to hear of Tom’s decision to retire, given he is a much-loved and respected person around the club,” Western Bulldogs’ director of football, Chris Grant said.

“Over the last few years we have worked very closely with Tom and his family to support him through a difficult period, and we will continue to offer that support as he enters the next phase of his life.

“We will not forget the role he played on the field, especially in the 2016 finals series when he showed the football world what he was capable of on the biggest stage possible.

“We will miss Tom’s influence at the Bulldogs, and he and his family will always be welcome at the club.”








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