This morning, AFL star Shaun Higgins announced the birth of his first child with wife Heidi on Instagram.
“Welcome to the world, Rosie Joan,” he wrote alongside some beautiful photos of his newborn baby.
Some three hours later, Higgins was running onto the ground at Docklands Stadium donned his North Melbourne kit, readying himself to take on Hawthorn.
Deep into the third quarter while approaching a contest, Higgins was knocked out cold with a concussion after a shoulder to the head from Hawthorn’s Ryan Burton. Despite only meeting his first child just hours before, Shaun Higgins lay on the turf of Docklands stadium, unmoving.
“I am not sure that he will remember the day that his first was born now. This is not good,” Channel 7’s commentary team noted.
The moment Shaun Higgins was concussed against Hawthorn. Watch at your own peril. Post continues after video.
While the scenes were certainly uncomfortable for fans on Sunday afternoon — bearing witness to a motionless Higgins sprawled on the ground — North Melbourne’s CEO Carl Dilena confirmed at three quarter time Higgins was moving his fingers, arms, toes and was talking.
“I was down in the rooms and the good news is that he has got his faculties back and he is moving his fingers and toes and talking. He was actually more worried about the welfare of his wife in hospital with the birth of their first child. He will go to Epworth for scans as a precaution. He seems to be OK,” he said.
The impending arrival of baby Rosie made headlines during the week, with Higgins emphatic that he would miss a game of football if his wife fell into labor in the hours before a game.
“My priority is the birth. If the baby comes on game day or the hours around game time, then I’ll miss but I’ll prepare to play and let mother nature run her course,” Higgins told nmfc.com.au.
“It’s an easy decision to be honest. It’s one game out of an entire career for something that’s once in a lifetime.”
On Wednesday, AFL commentator Brian Taylor told Triple M’s Rush Hour Higgins had “absolutely no excuse” to be missing a game of football for the birth of his child.
“Skype it. Just Skype it up and you won’t miss a trick and there’s no reason to miss the big day,” the former AFL player said.
“You can invite people around to watch the Skype.
“I was there for all of them (his children’s births) and this is where the footballers have got absolutely no excuse at all.
“Of course we did (plan the births). We had one whenever we wanted. The end result was a few days before the due date, or even a week before, you go and see the obstetrician and you say to him, ‘we would like to have the baby next Thursday’.
“And you know what he says? ‘OK, we’ll bring it on and we’ll induce the baby', and every one of my kids were induced on a particular day to avoid issues.”
Ahem. What AFL culture issues?
On a more serious note, we are, of course, sending our best wishes to Shaun Higgins, his wife and their beautiful new baby.