When Western Bulldogs premiership player Liam Picken went to ground during Saturday’s game with Fremantle in Western Australia, many-a-fan could be seen grimacing throughout the stadium.
Body-on-body clashes are nothing new, but repetition doesn’t take the sting out of watching someone get knocked out live in action.
No-one was more concerned, however, than Picken’s own family watching the match on TV at home in Melbourne.
This was the clash they had to endure some 3,000 kilometres away.
Picken’s wife, Annie Nolan, sat at home with her three children watching as her husband lay eerily still on the ground’s grass, lifeless if not for his arms falling by his side.
In taking a photo of her oldest child’s response to his dad’s clash, Nolan showed the world a side to sport we very rarely see.
“This pic [sic] is one of a thousand reasons why this is more than a game to us. Knocks to the head will always be my most hated part of this sport,” she wrote.
This pic is one of a thousand reasons why this is more than a game to us. Knocks to the head will always be my most hated part of this sport ???? Just a reminder to never take joy in the hurt/injury of opposition players (or anyone for that matter.) Not sure if Liam will run back out tonight but it was upsetting to witness what we just did. Thanks for the kind messages. Liam is in good hands and looking okay now but gosh I hate being on the other side of the country xx PS- Malachy asked me to take this for you @liampicken. He gave me no explanation why and I have no idea considering he looks so heartbroken?! ????