West Coast AFL great Peter Matera is recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack.
The 53-year-old suffered the heart attack on Sunday and was rushed to hospital, where he reportedly had two stents inserted.
“He’s in hospital in Bendigo right now … two stents in his heart and rehabilitating as we speak,” Brownlow medallist Brad Hardie told Perth radio station 6PR.
Matera’s scare comes in the wake of a series of tragic heart attacks among Australia’s sporting royalty.
Former Test stars Shane Warne and Rod Marsh died in March, while ex-WA cricketer Ryan Campbell is lucky to be alive after suffering a cardiac arrest in April.
Matera’s brother and former Eagles teammate Phil is set to fly to Victoria to visit his older sibling.
Flag-winning Eagle Guy McKenna is also planning to visit his former long-time teammate in hospital.
Matera is one of West Coast’s all-time greatest players, having won two premierships and five All-Australian jumpers during his glittering 253-game AFL career.
He also won the 1992 Norm Smith medal for his breathtaking five-goal display in the club’s 28-point grand final win over Geelong.
Matera’s long-range goals in that decider were the stuff of folklore, with his performance ensuring West Coast became the first non-Victorian club to win an AFL flag.
“We would always say it’s us against them,” Matera reflected in 2012 during the club’s 20-year anniversary of that 1992 premiership triumph.
“Going into a grand final, we knew the crowd was going to be against us because we can’t take all our supporters across.
“We had that desire after losing the year before (to Hawthorn).
“There was no way we were going to lose that grand final with all of us getting behind each other.
“We were like brothers in a way, because for those first three, four years, it was us against them.
“The group we had for those reunions was just awesome, because the bond is so strong.”