AFL legend Wayne Carey has made the stunning claim he believes he is Indigenous.
The former Adelaide and North Melbourne forward made the claim as he opened up about his childhood during an interview on Triple M on Sunday.
When asked who his favourite Indigenous player was, former Essendon star Nathan Lovett-Murray said it could be Carey, who said he was surprised by the choice.
‘Nathan just took me aback because I certainly didn’t think he was going to say me (as his favourite Indigenous player)’, Carey, 50, said.
AFL legend Wayne Carey (pictured) has made a surprising claim that he may be Indigenous, and has vowed to learn more about his heritage
Growing up in Wagga Wagga, Carey said he was considered Indigenous throughout his school years and played in an all-Indigenous team at lunchtimes
‘As a very young child we and all of my dad’s children were considered Indigenous’, the AFL superstar revealed.
‘I didn’t know and we didn’t know whether that was true or not, so I’ve never really delved deep, deep, deep into it, but it’s always set in the background and I’ve never ever spoken about it publicly.’
Carey said he had never spoken publicly about his Indigenous heritage.
Growing up in Wagga Wagga, the largest inland city in New South Wales, Carey said he was considered Indigenous by his community.
He explained his uncle’s children and their children had also been considered Indigenous, and said his father had received ‘Indigenous welfare’.
Carey said his family would receive a $2 government check every month or fortnight which his father cashed ‘for food and all that type of stuff’.
Carey said he’s gotten into discussions with a lot of Indigenous players and got along ‘very, very well’ with the Indigenous men at North Melbourne and other clubs
‘They always joked with me and came up to me and said, ‘When are you going to tell the world you know, you’ve got Indigenous blood’, Carey said
The North Melbourne superstar said he thought the checks may have been organised by his father through connections in Wagga Wagga.
‘I don’t know how much Dad actually got. That was like Indigenous welfare for one. I assume so, yes.’
Carey said when he moved to Adelaide at the age of 13, his family took up residence in Smithfield, considered by some as ‘not a great suburb’.
‘I played in an all-Indigenous team at lunchtimes at that school, so, you know, I was considered Indigenous at that school, but it’s just something that I’ve never really spoken about publicly,’ the AFL great said.
‘It’s not because I’m ashamed to be Indigenous if I am or anything like that, I’ve just never, never spoken about or never felt the need to talk about it.’
Carey said he’d gotten into discussions with a lot of Indigenous players and got along ‘very, very well’ with the Indigenous men at North Melbourne and other clubs.
‘They always joked with me and came up to me and said, ‘When are you going to tell the world you know, you’ve got Indigenous blood,’ he said.
‘I’ve just never wanted the attention of doing it or I guess really delving and finding out whether it’s 100 per cent true … given the fact my first cousin is in Wagga right now I probably should look into it.’
Carey said he could still have Indigenous heritage despite the pale colour of his skin, adding his Uncle Ronnie has twins, one with dark skin, the other very white.
Carey (pictured with Jessica Paulke) said he could still have Indigenous heritage despite the pale colour of his skin
‘It’s not because I’m ashamed to be Indigenous if I am or anything like that, I’ve just never, never spoken about or never felt the need to talk about it’, the AFL great said
‘I guess they got asked that question a lot when they were young, how are you brothers?’, he said.
‘But as we know, you can actually have very white skin and still have Indigenous blood. So I guess it’s something that I’ll have to delve into a little more.
‘I think I might have to now and for this reason, I think if I don’t it’s a bit slack.’
Carey played 272 games with North Melbourne and Adelaide before being forced to retire due to injury in 2004.
He won two premierships and was voted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.