Gary ‘God’ Ablett Sr. has been nominated for the Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame following his involvement in the fatal drug overdose of a 19-yr-old woman.
The former Hawthorn and Geelong legend shared illicit drugs with the woman in a hotel room in 2000 and initially refused to answer police questions when her death was investigated.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international and Sydney Roosters player Shaun Kenny Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Corey Norman from the Parramatta Eels won in 2016.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Todd Carney.
Ablett is regarded as one of the greatest AFL players of all time, but his life outside of football did not reach the same heights.
He was charged with drug use and possession, he lost his first AFL contract at Hawthorn due to poor discipline, he admitted to alcohol abuse and he also pleaded guilty to assaulting a man he saw sitting in a car with his ex-wife.
The Cats superstar was also being chased by the ATO in 2016, for alleged unpaid taxes totalling about $180,000 and was reportedly involved in a public fight with disgraced player agent Ricky Nixon.
The multiple award winner will find out later this year if he can add The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame to his enormous list of sporting honours.