Collingwood player Dayne Beams has retired from the AFL as the former All-Australian confirmed he’s battled a gambling and prescription drug addiction in recent years.
The 30-year-old hasn’t played for the Magpies since round 11, 2019 after battling significant mental health issues.
Beams still has two years to run on his contract but is in talks with Collingwood about a payout to that deal.
The 2010 Magpies premiership player left the club in 2014 to join Brisbane and be closer to his father Philip who lived in Queensland and had been diagnosed with cancer.
Beams captained the Lions but the death of his dad in early 2018 saw the gun midfielder lose his zest for football and he turned to several vices.
“I struggled with two things, gambling and the prescription painkillers,” Beams told the Sacked podcast.
“It ends up controlling your life, it really does and then as a result of that, your mental health deteriorates.
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“Once you stop you have got a whole lot of work to do to get yourself back on track. The hardest thing to break was the actual prescription drugs.
“They actually cause a change in your brain, the chemistry in your brain.
“(Brisbane) put in a bit of a plan about what was going to happen but to be honest whatever plan they put in place was not going to work.
“I started engaging in some really addictive behaviours to try to deal with the pain I was feeling.
“That’s when things started to go really downhill. At that stage I was caught up in some stupid things and wasn’t actually feeling anything.
“I thought this is great, this is helping me, but it wasn’t. It was the worst thing I would have done because it caused a lot of pain.
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“Two years later I feel like I could have handed things a lot differently.”
After four seasons with in Brisbane, Beams returned to Collingwood via a trade at the end of the 2018 season.
“I stopped losing passion for footy pretty much when dad died,” Beams said.
“It really started to fizzle out in me. The main reason for coming back to Victoria was to try and find that (passion for footy) again.
“It just didn’t work out that way. Things happen in life. For me it no longer became a love and everything became really, really hard to do.
“The retirement’s been a little bit of a different one.
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“It’s not like it’s been a decision where I’ve made it and a week later, we’ve released a statement and people know that I’ve retired.
“It’s sort of been one of the worst hidden secrets. Most people know that I’ve retired, but it hasn’t been official yet.”
After being drafted in 2008, Beams burst onto the scene by featuring in Collingwood’s drought-breaking 2010 premiership in just his 43rd game.
Beams won Collingwood’s best-and-fairest in 2012, but after 110 games with the Magpies he requested a trade to Brisbane.
A joint winner of the 2015 Merrett-Murray medal, Beams played 58 games for the Lions and captained the club in 2017.
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– with AAP’s Oliver Caffrey
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