Graham 'Polly' Farmer during his playing days.
Graham 'Polly' Farmer during his playing days.

AFL rocked by CTE discovery in legend

The AFL's first case of CTE has been discovered in the brain of the late great Graham 'Polly' Farmer, according to multiple reports.

The West Australian and The Age have reported the neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated concussions has been detected in the brain of the AFL legend.

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The Australian Sports Brain Bank discovered the disease in Farmer's brain after the West Australian passed away last August.

A painting of Geelong legend Graham Farmer at Kardinia Park.
A painting of Geelong legend Graham Farmer at Kardinia Park.

Farmer is one of the greatest players to ever play the game, playing more than 350 games for East Perth, Geelong and West Perth.

He won five WAFL premierships and one for Geelong, as well as three Sandover Medals and 10 best and fairests, and was renowned for his fearless approach to the game.

CTE can only be diagnosed after death and the extent of the issue is unknown in the AFL.

Three former rugby league players have been diagnosed with CTE in the past.

Paddy McCartin after another concussion during last pre-season.
Paddy McCartin after another concussion during last pre-season.

Concussion has become a major area of concern for the game in recent years, forcing Western Bulldogs premiership hero Liam Picken, West Coast, St Kilda and Western Bulldogs midfielder Koby Stevens and Brisbane and Collingwood defender Jack Frost to retire from the game due to repeated head knocks.

Former No. 1 pick Paddy McCartin has stepped away from football in 2020 due to concussions, while North Melbourne tagger Ben Jacobs and Melbourne half-back Kade Kolodjashnij have both missed large chunks of football in recent years due to the issue.

CTE is a major problem in America's biggest sport, the National Football League.

Payouts from the NFL are expected to exceed $US1 billion with more than 100 detections of CTE from deceased players' brains.