Melbourne melt hearts with subtle tribute to Angus Brayshaw ahead of season-opener against Sydney

Melbourne have quietly paid tribute to recently retired midfielder Angus Brayshaw ahead of Thursday night’s season-opener against Sydney.

Brayshaw was forced to call time on his career two weeks ago after extensive neurological testing showed his brain had deteriorated since he was concussed in last year’s finals.

The 28-year-old penned an emotional open letter declaring he was “absolutely shattered” by a reality he did not see coming.

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The much-loved fan-favourite is still very much in the hearts of players and supporters.

Brayshaw’s famous helmet was hanging in the rooms and every player touched it on their way out onto the ground.

Melbourne players touch Brayshaw’s famous helmet. Credit: Channel 7
‘Gussy’ written on a Melbourne player’s boots. Credit: Instagram

“I love the Angus Brayshaw helmet piece, always looking for little things,” Hamish McLachlan said on Channel 7.

One Demon also had ‘Gussy’ and a heart written on his boots.

The club posted the photo on Instagram and X with the caption “with us every step of the way.”

Fans immediately showed their support with the post quickly generating hundreds of likes.

“I just cried,” one fan wrote.

“Crying all over again 😭😭 Let’s do this for Gussy,” another said.

“I bloody love this,” another added.

On Wednesday night, Channel 7’s James Brayshaw offered an insight into his nephew wellbeing and future, saying “numb” remains the word to describe how Angus is feeling.

“I think there was great shock around when he called into the club and they said you’re done,” James said on Channel 7’s Talking Footy.

“He’s 28 years old, 167 games, just signed a long-term deal, so in his own mind he would’ve seen himself playing till he was 32, 33 — and happily, because he genuinely loved the game of footy.

“He was one of those blokes who just had this glorious passion for playing football. To suddenly have that plug pulled out on you, age 28, I think he would be numb and shocked would be the way I describe him.”

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James said Angus has “an extraordinary amount to look forward to” in life, starting with his upcoming marriage to fiancee Danielle, the daughter of the late St Kilda great Danny Frawley and his wife Anita.

“(Angus’s) parents (Mark and Deb) are great people, he’s got great support systems around him,” James added.

“I have great expectations for the rest of his life being great but there’s no doubt the last two or three weeks have been very tough.”

Geelong premiership captain Joel Selwood said Brayshaw would be a “huge loss” on the field for the Dees but his absence would be felt throughout the week, too.

“You see the love throughout the locker room, he brings people together,” he said.

“We’re all thinking of him.”

James added: “Thank you. I think he’ll be right but it will take some time.”

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