sports

Today, Jarrad McVeigh plays his last AFL match. It's also the anniversary of the day his daughter died.

Warning: this post contains mentions of infant loss and may be triggering for some readers.

Today AFL star and former Sydney Swans captain Jarrad McVeigh will play his last match against the St Kilda Saints.

But as he takes the field for the final time on August 24, the date has another significant meaning.

Exactly eight years ago, Jarrad and his wife Clementine McVeigh lost their first daughter, Luella, at just four weeks old due to a heart condition.

Sharing an emotional tribute to her husband and late daughter on Instagram, Clementine, 35, posted a photo of Jarrad kissing a black rubber band on his arm.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A picture is worth a thousand words… and boy does this. This moment jarrad kissed his “black arm band” for our beautiful Luella after she passed. Today my incredible husband will play his last game.. the sport he loves so much he can’t even describe in words. The passion and love he has put into the game/ his career is a drive that is beyond what I could imagine. Today is also the anniversary of our Luella’s passing…, what are the chances of this! ????????‍♀️ Maybe the universe made it this way… so today I shed tears for my baby girl, and shed tears for my husband’s incredible career. One door closes and another opens. ???????? ????????‍♂️ P.s if you see me at the footy and I have extremely puffy eyes with mascara running down my face ???? or sunglasses on to hide ???? Just give me that wink ???? ???? I’ll be a mess… but a happy mess ???????????????? ????????????????????‍♂️❤️ #luella #jarradmcveigh #3 #sydneyswans @sydneyswans

A post shared by Clementine Mcveigh (@clementinemcveigh) on

“A picture is worth a thousand words… and boy does this,” she wrote.

“This moment Jarrad kissed his ‘black arm band’ for our beautiful Luella after she passed. Today my incredible husband will play his last game.. the sport he loves so much he can’t even describe in words. The passion and love he has put into the game/ his career is a drive that is beyond what I could imagine.

“Today is also the anniversary of our Luella’s passing…, what are the chances of this! Maybe the universe made it this way… so today I shed tears for my baby girl, and shed tears for my husband’s incredible career.

“One door closes and another opens. P.S if you see me at the footy and I have extremely puffy eyes with mascara running down my face or sunglasses on to hide. Just give me that wink. I’ll be a mess… but a happy mess.”

Marking what would have been her eighth birthday in July of this year, Clementine shared another moving post on Instagram.

“Happy eighth birthday my sweet baby girl. People say time heals all wounds…. I’m just not sure about that. Time definitely does dull the pain and the tears are few and far between, but for me over the past eight years it just seems to hit me harder every year,” she wrote.

“Our little angels are up there watching over us dancing together. One day I know I’ll hold my little girl’s hands, look into those beautiful eyes and rub her feet with lavender cream.

“Until then, all we have are videos & photos and memories locked in my heart.”

ADVERTISEMENT

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Clementine Mcveigh (@clementinemcveigh) on

Three days after Luella’s death in 2011, the defender was forced to return to the field against the Geelong Cats, playing on their home ground where the team hadn’t lost a game in 1462 days. Both Sydney and Geelong fans wore black arm bands to support Jarrad and Clementine’s loss, and the Swans beat the Cats in a 17-point win, their first victory at the venue in over 12 years.

Walking onto the field for the last time in his career, Jarrad was seen walking onto the field with his wife, and their two daughters Lolita-Luella McVeigh, seven, and Florence McVeigh, one.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A very special moment ❤️ #ProudlySydney

A post shared by Sydney Swans (@sydneyswans) on

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.

00:00 / ???