Ben Cousins poses for photos with fans in Perth ahead of AFL Grand Final


Troubled ex-footy champ Ben Cousins was all smiles as he posed for photos with fans at an AFL meet and greet – and says he has good reason to be beaming. 

The ex-champ, 43, opened up in a rare public appearance last week about how he has finally reached a ‘happy place’ in life – admitting the public has treated him ‘better than I deserved’.  

The former footy star signed autographs and chatted to fans at a pre Grand Final event at The Camfield Hotel in Perth on Friday, before taking questions from Triple M’s Rush Hour team on his life as an athlete and what came after.

‘I’m sort of back working and in a good routine, a happy place. So, life’s good,’ he told hosts Lachy and Embers on Friday.

‘I’ve considered myself very fortunate for a long time now that the WA public have been very good to me, probably better than I probably thought I deserved at times.’  

Ben Cousins was all smiles as he posed for photos with fans at an AFL meet and greet just days after returning to the spotlight with his new girlfriend

Ben Cousins was all smiles as he posed for photos with fans at an AFL meet and greet just days after returning to the spotlight with his new girlfriend

Cousins attended The Camfield pub on Friday for an event in the lead up to the AFL Grand Final where he stopped to take photos with fans

Cousins attended The Camfield pub on Friday for an event in the lead up to the AFL Grand Final where he stopped to take photos with fans

Cousins is seen signing the jersey of his former team the West Coast Eagles

Cousins is seen signing the jersey of his former team the West Coast Eagles

Cousins last week attended the 2021 Brownlow Medal for the first time since 2010, making an appearance on the red carpet last Sunday night with his new partner, FIFO worker Kelley Fergus. 

The former West Coast Eagles star is slowly rebuilding his life after his highly publicised fall from grace which saw him spend time in jail including seven months behind bars in 2020. 

The 43-year-old’s comeback has been well received among the football community and Western Australia despite his less honourable moments being broadcast on the media. 

Cousins played 238 games and booted 205 goals for the West Coast Eagles, where he won a premiership with the club in 2006.  

‘A lot’s happened over the years, a lot of good things have happened but there’s been some not so good things too,’ he said on Friday.

‘So I’m just grateful to be in a position where I am today and people are pretty receptive.’ 

Cousins spoke to Triple M's Rush Hour hosts about his life playing football and what came after

Cousins spoke to Triple M’s Rush Hour hosts about his life playing football and what came after

The 2005 Brownlow Medallist is seen shaking hands with a football fan ahead of the Grand Final on Saturday

The 2005 Brownlow Medallist is seen shaking hands with a football fan ahead of the Grand Final on Saturday

Cousins has been welcomed back into the football community following his fall from grace

Cousins has been welcomed back into the football community following his fall from grace

The 43-year-old said the public support has been 'better than I probably deserved'

The 43-year-old said the public support has been ‘better than I probably deserved’

Looking back on his career, Cousins admitted it was hard to live without the adrenaline rush he felt playing high level football after he stepped away from the game. 

‘You don’t realise how lucky you are until you retire and you’ve got to sort of replace it with something,’ he said.

‘You’ll never find something to manufacture that same feeling and the adrenaline, and the contest, I just loved it.’  

In the lead up to Melbourne’s sensational win over the Western Bulldogs, Cousins was seen promoting a T-shirt line inspired by his own incredible comeback.

BEN COUSINS OPENS UP AHEAD OF AFL GRAND FINAL 

The former footy star spoke to Triple M’s Rush Hour hosts Lachy and Embers ahead of the Grand Final last weekend and discussed his length footy career and his life afterwards 

‘I’m sort of back working and in a good routine, a happy place. So, life’s good,’ he told hosts Lachy and Embers on Friday.

‘I’ve considered myself very fortunate for a long time now that the WA public have been very good to me, probably better than I probably thought I deserved at times.’ 

Cousins also addressed missing the highs of playing elite level sport.

‘I’ve always looked back and thought I was very fortunate to play footy, it’s been really good to me and I’ve been passionate about it for as long as I can remember,’ he said.

‘You don’t realise how lucky you are until you retire and you’ve got to sort of replace it with something.

‘You’ll never find something to manufacture that same feeling and the adrenaline, and the contest, I just loved it.’

Cousins also played a stint for the Richmond Tigers after he was sacked from the West Coast Eagles, adding the club did so much for him on and off the field.

‘I think I’d be broken had I not been given a second chance,’ he said.

‘(Richmond) were taking on a hell of a lot more that came with picking me up. To be honest it was a nightmare for a footy club to take on, they were brave enough to do it.’ 

Streetwear brand StreetX created the collection, dubbed the ‘Prince of Perth’ range.

The limited line contained three branded Ben Cousins tees, and was only available for three days.

In the wake of Cousins’ stunning return to the spotlight, Fox Sports Australia presenter Tara Rushton said the footy star’s checkered past shouldn’t be forgotten. 

‘I guess the thing that’s really interesting is it ended up being one of the biggest headlines from the night, that Ben Cousins walked the red carpet,’ she said on an episode of The Back Page on Tuesday night. 

Rushton said it was encouraging to see the father-of-two get back on the straight and narrow after a prolonged battle with drug abuse and ‘mental demons’.  

‘I just worry sometimes that we can romanticise the return and forget about … the stalking charges that he had against him,’ she continued. 

‘I’m just thinking from the perspective of his partner and the kids that he has.

‘So, first and foremost, mental health and to be fighting those battles, that’s a good thing – but I think we in the media really tried to romanticise that return and that homecoming as such.’ 

In the lead up to Melbourne's sensational win over the Western Bulldogs, Cousins was seen promoting a T-shirt line inspired by his own incredible comeback

In the lead up to Melbourne’s sensational win over the Western Bulldogs, Cousins was seen promoting a T-shirt line inspired by his own incredible comeback 

Collab: Streetwear brand StreetX created the collection, dubbed the 'Prince of Perth' range

Collab: Streetwear brand StreetX created the collection, dubbed the ‘Prince of Perth’ range

The former AFL star accepted an invitation to the 2021 Brownlow Medal for the first time since 2010, walking the red carpet with Kelley Fergus

The former AFL star accepted an invitation to the 2021 Brownlow Medal for the first time since 2010, walking the red carpet with Kelley Fergus

The 43-year-old shares two children, Angelique, 7, and Bobby, 9, with his former partner Maylea Tinecheff, who he was in a relationship with from 2008 to 2013.  

Cousins pleaded not guilty in October to one count of aggravated stalking in addition to 20 counts of breaching a family violence restraining order. 

In November, the AFL champion was convicted of stalking the mother of his children but was acquitted by a Perth court of restraining order breaches.

Cousins was sentenced to seven months in jail, which was backdated to April, and was released from the Hakea prison in Western Australia in late November. 

It was the sixth time in 13 years the footy legend had landed himself behind bars, after multiple run-ins with the law and a drug addiction that cost him his career.   

Ben Cousins leaving Armadale Magistrates Court in Perth in October 2016 after he was granted bail for charges of breaching an AVO and possessing drugs

Ben Cousins leaving Armadale Magistrates Court in Perth in October 2016 after he was granted bail for charges of breaching an AVO and possessing drugs

The reaction to Cousins’ red carpet appearance was overwhelmingly positive on social media with industry great’s also sharing their support for the player. 

‘He’s a Brownlow Medal winner, he deserves to be here and I’m really pleased that he’s in the right space where he can come,’ AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said. 

‘People have ups and downs in their lives and I’m thrilled that his trajectory sounds like it’s good and he’s in a good spot.’  

The former methamphetamine addict has employed the help of Susan Backshell, a mental health support worker who has been his mentor since his latest stint in jail. 

He has since volunteered at several events in and around Perth with Ms Backshell’s community group KALT Collective, acting as a beacon of hope for disadvantaged youths, addicts and reformed criminals. 

THE TROUBLED LIFE AND TIMES OF BEN COUSINS: 

1996 – Makes AFL debut with West Coast and is named the league’s Rising Star

2001 – Named club captain of West Coast at age 23

2002 – Breaks his arm falling down a flight of stairs at a nightclub months after punching his teammate Daniel Kerr

2005 – (May) Is quizzed by police about association with underworld identities

– (September) Wins Brownlow medal as the AFL’s best and fairest player

2006 – (February) Swims across a Perth river to escape a booze bus

– (September) Wins AFL premiership with the Eagles

– (December) Is arrested after passing out in front of Melbourne’s Crown Casino and spends four hours in jail

2007 – (March) Suspended by West Coast after missing training session

– (April) Goes to a drug rehabilitation facility in the US

– (October) Revealed to have visited fellow Eagles legend Chris Mainwaring twice on the night he died of a drug overdose

– (October) Arrested and charged with drug offences that are later dropped

– (November) Eventually sacked by West Coast and banned from the AFL for one year

2008 – AFL re-registers Cousins and he is signed by Richmond

2010 – Retires from the AFL but releases autobiography and documentary

2015 – Arrested three times before leading police on a slow-speed car chase

2016 – (June) Spotted behaving erratically and directing traffic on a highway

– (October) In and out of court over drug offences and breaches a restraining order taken out by his ex-partner

2018 – (January) Released from jail on parole just 10 months into his sentence

He takes up a community support role with the West Coast Eagles – a requirement of his parole conditions

– (May): Reports emerge he hasn’t been seen at the club for a month

The club confirms the he told officials in April he no longer wanted the job

– (August) Arrested and charged with drug possession and breaching a restraining order

2019 – (February) He was fined $1,750 for possessing meth and hiding it up his anus while in jail

(March) Cousins pleaded not guilty to 14 offences in court, including breaching a family violence restraining order and a count each of aggravated stalking and threatening to injure, endanger or harm

(April) Cousins is arrested in Perth with a Cousins is released from jail on bail after eight months inside.

2020 – (March) Tell-all documentary Coming Clean goes to air – Cousins opens up about his meth addiction and time behind bars.

(April) Cousins is arrested in Perth after allegedly being caught with 2.5grams of methamphetamine while asleep beside his car.

He is remanded in custody after pleading guilty to possessing methamphetamine and incurring a $1500 fine.

He is also charged with aggravated stalking of his ex-partner, Maylea Tinecheff.

(October) Cousins pleads not guilty to aggravated stalking and 20 counts of breaching a family violence restraining order relating to his ex-partner.

(November) He is convicted of stalking his ex-partner but acquitted by a Perth court of restraining order breaches. He is sentenced to seven months jail, which is backdated to April.

He is released from Hakea prison in late November.

2021 – Cousins returns to the footy field playing for the Queens Park Bulldogs in Perth’s Metro Football League 



Source link

Spread the love

Written by bourbiza

Biden back at the White House weekend at Camp David negotiations loom on $3.5 trillion budget bill

Brian Houston ‘armed for battle’ as he faces claim he failed to report his father abused little boy