Former Melbourne player Harley Bennell’s mum was fearing for his mental wellbeing in the hours before the troubled footballer was taken to a Gold Coast hospital.
Bennell was believed to be celebrating his retirement, which he announced on Monday, at a Gold Coast hotel when police were called and he was heavily intoxicated, according to the The Courier-Mail.
Police called the paramedics and an ambulance took Bennell to hospital.
On a Melbourne supporters’ website Bennell’s mum, Kayleen, posted messages asking for support in the wake of his retirement announcement on Monday as fans voiced their opinion on his short-lived Demon career, which only lasted one season.
“Very disappointing, knowing my son is stuck in Queensland with no family support. I’m his mother and I’m very concerned for his well being and mental state,” she posted.
“And you so called humans want to discuss how he upset you all. And what gives you the right to still call him names.”
Bennell announced his retirement on Monday via Instagram after a career that started at the Gold Coast Suns and included an injury-plagued stint at Fremantle.
The Demons were considering offering him another contract before he breached the AFL’s COVID-19 bubble on the Sunshine Coast.
Bennell was fined $50,000 and suspended for four games for leaving the Demons’ high-performance centre without permission, just 24 hours before the players were set to exit the quarantine bubble.
The 27-year-old endured a turbulent AFL career, caught up in a scandal in 2015 while playing for the Suns when photos surfaced of him with what appeared to be lines of powder.
He later issued a public apology to Suns fans, his family and friends, saying he had made “some poor choices in my life”.
Prior to the scandal Bennell was stood down for breaching a team drinking ban.
Originally published as Mum feared for hospitalised Harley