Angus Brayshaw leaves the MCG after Melbourne's win over North Melbourne in round seven, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE premiership player Angus Brayshaw has retired.

Recent scan results showed "microscopic changes" in Brayshaw's brain after his concussion in last year's qualifying final loss, which saw Magpie Brayden Maynard controversially cleared by the AFL Tribunal after his bump.

Combined with extensive neurological testing and discussion with medical experts, a "devastated" Brayshaw has been medically retired from the game.  

The 28-year-old informed teammates of the news on Thursday morning. 


“I am devastated that I can no longer play the game that I love, but I respect the verdict of the medical professionals, and the importance of putting my health before my career,” Brayshaw said.

“I am really proud of what I have achieved over the past decade. I have been able to live out my childhood dream and while it’s been cut short, I am forever grateful to everyone who has been involved.

“I want to especially thank my teammates, my coaches and the staff at the Melbourne Football Club, for all they have done for me over the years. I also want to thank my family and my partner Danielle for their endless support. To every member and fan, thank you for your incredible support over the journey. 

“Concussion is a massive issue facing our game. I hope from this, a terrible result for me personally, can come some positive outcomes for the future of player safety.”


Brayshaw returned to training weeks ago but did not play in Melbourne's match simulation game against Richmond last Sunday. Brayshaw's retirement comes following an extensive concussion history from early in his career that has seen him wear a helmet since.

He will finish after 167 games with the Demons and as a much-loved figure at the club that drafted him with the No.3 pick at the 2014 draft, one selection after Christian Petracca.

Together the pair were brilliant in Melbourne's breakthrough premiership win in 2021 in Perth, when the Demons snapped a 57-year flag drought with a victory over the Western Bulldogs. Brayshaw had 25 disposals and kicked a goal in the victory.

Angus Brayshaw celebrates a goal in the 2021 Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

Brayshaw, a brave midfielder who played on the wing and also across half-back throughout his Melbourne career, has spoken candidly at stages in his time as a Demon about considering leaving the game due to his concussion history.

After returning from injury and head knock problems early in his career, Brayshaw had a breakout season in 2018, when he averaged 26 disposals and kicked 14 goals and finished third in the Brownlow Medal.

Brayshaw signed a six-year contract with the Demons in 2022 through to the end of 2028, ignoring rival free agency options.

Melbourne CEO Gary Pert paid tribute to Brayshaw's career at the Demons.  

“Today is a tough day for Angus and everyone involved given his love for the club and the game and how much he means to our people,” Pert said.

“Currently, our total focus is going into supporting Angus, his fiancé Danielle and the broader Brayshaw family after this devastating news.

Pert hailed Brayshaw him as a "respected, influential leader", and said the club would look at options to keep him involved in the Demons' football program.

“As things settle down following the announcement, we will talk to Angus to explore keeping him involved in the program in whatever role is appropriate.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, and our members and supporters, I would like to thank Angus for his unwavering loyalty, courage and dedication to the club."

Angus Brayshaw and Ed Langdon with the 2021 premiership cup after Melbourne's win over the Western Bulldogs in the 2021 Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

The AFL's executive general manager of football, Laura Kane, said the League supported Brayshaw's decision to retire. 

"Angus’ health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance and his decision, made in consultation with his medical team, is one more courageous act that Angus consistently demonstrated throughout his decorated career across 167 games," Kane said in a statement. 
"Angus’ contribution to footy on the field is well documented and we look forward to his continued contribution to our game off the field in the coming years. 
"We wish Angus, Danielle, and their families all the very best, and applaud Angus’ leadership in making this decision for himself, his family and his club."