Former Melbourne and North Melbourne forward Shaun Smith is the recipient of a landmark $1.4 million payout.
The Herald Sun has reported that the high-flying ex-Demon and Kangaroo has received the damages payment due to the significant brain injuries he sustained during his 10-year, 109-game AFL career.
The aforementioned sum was paid to Smith, 51, by his insurance company MLC after they ruled that he has a ‘total and permanent disablement’ caused by frequent and heavy knocks to the head.
The man who took the Mark of the Century said: “This just proves that concussion is real – that we are not just making this stuff up.
“I’m only the tip of the iceberg.”
Veteran player agent Peter Jess, who has worked closely with Smith, says the payout would not have been received by most past and present AFL players because the League is insured by AMP who don’t recognise the CTE symptoms.
“This should be the game changer,” said Jess.
“It means you have independent medical experts who say that you can be totally and permanently disabled as a result of multiple concussions suffered while playing AFL football.
“But if Shaun was insured with AMP he would not have been paid a cent.”
It comes after the late Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer and Danny Frawley were both revealed to have CTE symptoms stemming from their playing careers.