Gary Ablett’s wife has paid tribute to the retiring superstar ahead of his 357th and final AFL game, as footy commentators speculate how the Geelong great will be chaired from the ground.
After 19 seasons, Ablett announced 2020 would be his last with wife Jordan praising the Geelong star for handling the added pressure of following in his father’s footsteps.
“You’ve exceeded all the expectations that have been placed upon you over your career and now is the time to let them go and do what you do best,” Jordan Ablett posted in a heartfelt message.
“Thank you for taking me on one of the best rides of my life and I’ve enjoyed riding every high and low with you.
“We love you and remember that you have an army of people back home and in heaven cheering you on, win or lose.”
Commentator Gerard Whateley said Ablett’s final game will forever be etched into history – regardless of the result.
“If he finished with a premiership, it breaks one of two ways… he’s either Leigh Matthews carried off the ground with glum faces everywhere … or he’s getting the medal put around his neck in an image that will last generations,” he said on SEN.
Fellow commentator Garry Lyon agreed and said he expected Richmond to pay tribute to Ablett in some form.
“You might even have the most unbelievable situation where the premiers make a guard of honour for him,” he suggested.
Ablett’s 2020 season has been more disrupted than most, after leaving his teammates in Perth for a mercy dash back home to Melbourne.
Following his mother-in-law’s tragic passing, Ablett and his young family departed Victoria but remained isolated from his Cats teammates, instead training with a select group of players and officials from other clubs to stay match-fit.
It took until round 18 for Ablett to play again in 2020, but since then has cemented his place in the Cats line up.
Ablett leaves the game as a two-time Brownlow Medallist, eight-time All-Australian and a five-time AFL MVP.