Nathan Murphy at a press conference following his retirement from the AFL on April 16, 2024. Picture: Collingwood FC

COLLINGWOOD premiership defender Nathan Murphy has retired after advice from the AFL's medical concussion panel. 

The 24-year-old informed teammates and the football department inside the AIA Centre before training on Tuesday morning after a decision was reached on Saturday.

Murphy has not played since being subbed out of last year’s Grand Final win at quarter-time due to concussion.


Despite being cleared by the AFL concussion panel to continue late last year, Murphy had stepped away from full training in recent months.

After further consultation with the club and the AFL, a decision was reached in recent days for Murphy to medically retire from the game, following the Victorian’s 10th concussion in the premiership win.

"It has obviously been a long process. The club has been amazing throughout this whole process, they've allowed me to take hold of how I'm feeling and how I want to go about this. It has been a massive journey," Murphy told reporters on Tuesday morning.

 "The last few months have been really tough but I was guided by medical advice that this was the right decision for me. I'm really grateful that it's come to this because they are the professionals and I trust their opinion. 


"I'm accepting (of the decision). These guys are the professionals in this space. There is so much unknown in this area that you have to trust the professionals. I'm guided by their decision and really happy they've made this decision."

With close mate, business partner and backline coach Jordan Roughead standing next to him during the press conference, Murphy explained how they worked on altering his fearless attack on the ball during the pre-season to better protect himself, but the decision was taken out of his hands. 

"I worked pretty hard with this guy next to me and we tried to change a few things but I didn't want to lose that trademark that I had as a player," Murphy said. 

"There were things we altered but ultimately we did what we could, but the medical decided it for me. I am happy to say we did give this a go, but unfortunately, it has come to this decision."

Nathan Murphy spoils a Charlie Cameron mark during the 2023 Grand Final between Collingwood and Brisbane. Picture: AFL Photos

Murphy represented Australia in cricket at under-16 level in 2016 and played underage cricket for Victoria before focusing on football in his draft year, where he was selected at pick No. 39 in the 2017 AFL Draft. 

The Brighton Grammar product grew up wanting to bat for Australia and play in the AFL. Now that his football career is over, Murphy quipped that he might return to his other sporting pursuit. 

"I have been joking around that I'm going to be the first guy to win a premiership and open the batting for Australia on Boxing Day," he said. 

"I haven't thought about that just yet. It has been a whirlwind few weeks that cricket hasn't come to the front of my mind. But if a few clubs come for me, I'll see."

Murphy will take time to consider his next move, but Roughead wants him back on the tools at Whiplash, the café they own with Collingwood key forward Brody Mihocek and former Pie Callum Brown in Hawthorn.

"He is good on the coffee machine so I'm hoping he steps back in at Whiplash and manages it full-time. He said before that he will charge people double to have a coffee made by a premiership hero," Roughead joked. 

Nathan Murphy and Oleg Markov celebrate winning with the 2023 AFL Grand Final against Brisbane at the MCG on September 30, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

Collingwood CEO Craig Kelly and interim head of football Brendon Bolton both said the club will take care of Murphy during this transition period and are open to having him return in a coaching or administration capacity. 

Murphy is the second played to medically retire this year due to concussion, after Melbourne premiership player Angus Brayshaw

The courageous backman ends his AFL career with 57 games next to his name and a premiership medallion at home.