AFL legend Gary Ablett Sr issues statement over memorabilia sale after inaccurate report

AFL legend Gary Ablett Sr has moved to clear up what he has dubbed “fake reports” around the sale of some of his cherished AFL memorabilia.

Ablett is arguably the greatest players to have walked out on a football field, and if he isn’t, his son Gary Ablett Jr certainly has claims on that title.

During the week it came to light that Ablett Sr was making the surprise decision to sell some of his treasured individual awards, and it was reported that there were “over 200” items up for grabs.

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The 62-year-old has won a stack of individual accolades during his glittering career with Geelong, including three Coleman Medals, a Norm Smith Medal (for his starring performance in the 1989 grand final), and a Leigh Matthew Trophy for the AFLMVP Award to name a few.

When word of the sale came to light, Port Adelaide great turned media personality Kane Cornes said there would be more than 200 items on offer and mentioned the Norm Smith.

“So all of Gary Ablett Sr’s personal items are up for sale. We’re talking the Leigh Matthews 1993 trophy, we’re talking the 1989 Norm Smith Medal, we’re talking the Coleman Medals, we’re talking boots, jumpers … 200 plus items of Gary Ablett Sr’s are up for sale,” Cornes said on SEN.

Ablett with a set of his playing gloves that are in the sale. Credit: Getty / Instagram

“He is selling everything. Some items I’m assuming will be packaged up … There’s posters, there’s signs, there’s his Geelong guernsey, there’s his boots.”

But Ablett has fired back, saying that list is not right.

He was also at pains to make it clear that he was not doing it for financial reasons.

“It’s frustrating and annoying that the mainstream media takes the story and distorts and twists the truth to suit their own narrative,” Ablett said.

“I don’t need to sell anything for financial reasons and I’m certainly not selling all of my memorabilia.

“The collection doesn’t include any of my medals such as the 1989 Norm Smith, three Colemans and the 1984 Geelong best and fairest.

“I’ve been constantly asked for a number of years by people in the memorabilia game what I did with all my trophies and memorabilia from my playing days.

“Most of it has been in storage for 25-30 years and when they put it to me that people would get a lot of enjoyment from having some of those items, I finally agreed to sell some items.

“I have not mentioned to anyone about selling everything including any of my medals, neither do I need to sell these items. However, if people get some enjoyment from them, then it’s better than them sitting in storage.

“I’m extremely frustrated and annoyed by the mainstream media’s initial reports that went global, saying I need to sell everything for financial reasons, including medals. It is fake news. Unfortunately the mainstream media has a habit of focusing on the controversial and sensational, because clearly the plain old truth doesn’t sell.

“I have never been someone who has awards or photos of my career on display at home. I’m sure that’s the case for many other ex-footballers.”

Ablett kicked 1031 goals — the sixth most of all-time — in his 248 AFL matches.

He has spent most of his post-footy career out of the public eye, but last year revealed he was suffering from brain damage as a result of multiple concussions throughout his career, and he has since launched legal action against the AFL.

In 2005 he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2005 despite his well-documented off-field issues.

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