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Fallen AFL legend and recovering ice addict Ben Cousins has returned to the soccer field for the first time in more than 10 years while lacing his boots for a suburban club six months after his final stint behind bars.
The former West Coast Eagles captain, who has been plagued by drug addiction and legal problems since his retirement from the AFL in 2010, took on the guernsey for the reigning premiers Queens Park Bulldogs of the Perth Metro Football League on Sunday.
Cousins, who previously revealed in an explosive interview how he went from being the 2005 Brownlow medal winner to a homeless drug addict, showed off his bulging muscles as he took to the field amid cheers from the local crowd.
The 42-year-old played a pivotal role in his team’s 40-point victory after starting at the mid-striker band, helping set up his team’s first points of the match and then kicking his own goal.
Cousins, who previously opened-up about how he went from 2005 Brownlow Medal winner to homeless drug addict
Cousins appeared to be enjoying playing again, showing a smile on several occasions, hugging his teammates and shaking hands with fans, who were heard yelling ‘welcome to Queens Park Ben Cousins’ and’ kick Ben Cousins’.
Club president Ross White told the West Australian that the crowd was the largest he had seen at a regular season game in a “ very, very long time, ” and that the canteen sold out without food. hot before the second half started.
White said Cousins had been well received by fans of the “second chance club,” and that the former AFL star returned the favor to the fans.
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“He cares about people and always gives his time just to talk and take photos. The kind of old Ben who cared about fans is still that, and now they are our fans, ” he said.
Cousins revealed last month that he had been training with the team a few times a week and that he was hoping to put the shoelaces on in “six to ten games” after sustaining a minor ankle injury in the preseason.
He’s trying to get his life back on track since he was convicted on November 4 of last year and sentenced to seven months in jail for harassing his ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff.
Cousins here with his ex-partner and mother of his children Maylea Tinecheff
He was released from Hakea Jail, Perth, just two weeks later due to the time already served. Cousins had been in custody since April 2020 after pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine.
The footballer was caught with 2.5 grams of drug ice while sleeping in his car in Perth, just weeks after speaking out about his drug addiction in a revealing interview.
“I’ve gotten things going wonderfully,” Cousins said last year in a Channel 7 interview with journalist Basil Zempilas.
I am simply a drug addict. Yes, he was drugged. It was quick, it was good. They were good times. Alcohol was not the most important thing to me at the time. For me, it was all about drugs.
‘I wouldn’t have butter on my toast, let alone a truckload of beer … (but) I would take drugs and train and fuck and obsess and play football well.
“I knew that at the end of that week-long block, two-week block, or sometimes during the month, I would start completely wiping myself out and throwing myself on as many drugs as I could.”
Ben Cousins Quicks and Facts
- Troubled AFL star Ben Cousins has returned to the footy field after 10-year hiatus
- Cousins laced up the boots for the Queens Park Bulldogs in Perth on Sunday
- He has been plagued by addiction and legal issues since AFL retirement in 2010
- He was released from jail in November last year after his latest stint behind bars