Former AFL player Sam Blease speaks about concussion, will donate his brain for research

Retired footballer Sam Blease has spoken about his struggles with mental and physical illness after suffering two severe concussions while playing.

Blease, who is just 24, told SEN radio that he had memory problems and had suffered migraines while training.

Sam Blease still has problems with his memory.
Sam Blease still has problems with his memory. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

"I copped two pretty heavy concussions last year in isolation and after the first one I missed four weeks in the pre-season," he said on Monday morning.

"Then three or four months later I just got a stray elbow in the VFL, came back and played but the symptoms from there were pretty severe. I had a bit of depression for probably a month and a half."

Blease said he also has headaches after running, and has been keeping in touch with a neurologist, as well as a friend who is a brain surgeon.

But despite the problems he has faced, Blease said he would not advise against playing football.


"I love footy, I've grown up with it, it's given me opportunities in life," he said. "I would never say to anyone do not play football because you can get a concussion."

The former Geelong and Melbourne player says he will donate his brain for medical research after he was approached by former WWE wrestler Chris Nowinski, who co-founded and is executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.

"I was taken aback a bit," Blease said of his initial response to the request. "I've got a few years left, hopefully."

Blease is seeking compensation from the AFL over his head injuries, but he wouldn't go into detail over the issue.

"That's in a process at the moment and the lawyers are working through that – I'm not in a position to comment on that," he said.