Injured West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern hits the road to make it back for Adam Simpson’s farewell

Justin Chadwick
AAP
Injured on Saturday, Jeremy McGovern is driving across the country for Adam Simpson's farewell. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)
Injured on Saturday, Jeremy McGovern is driving across the country for Adam Simpson's farewell. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

A punctured lung and a fractured rib won’t stop Jeremy McGovern attending Adam Simpson’s farewell, with the star West Coast defender in the midst of a frantic road trip across the country to pay tribute to his mentor.

McGovern was taken to a Melbourne hospital to assess his serious internal injuries following a heavy bump during West Coast’s 54-point loss to Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday.

Although McGovern has since been discharged from hospital, the punctured lung meant he wasn’t able to board a flight back to Perth.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

The news of Simpson’s departure on Tuesday added urgency for McGovern to return home.

With flying out of the equation, McGovern drove to Adelaide to meet up with his wife, and the pair are now making the long trek by car to Perth.

Although Simpson won’t coach against Brisbane at Optus Stadium on Sunday, he will be presented to the crowd before the match as part of what is shaping up to be an emotional farewell.

And if all goes to plan, McGovern will be there to take part in the send-off.

The recent text message leak, in which three Eagles players reportedly voiced their support for Simpson to be axed, raised doubts about whether the premiership coach still had the backing of his charges.

But McGovern’s efforts represent the love and support the majority of the squad still have for Simpson.

McGovern played through cracked ribs - similar to the injury he is now nursing - during West Coast’s grand final triumph over Collingwood in 2018.

McGovern’s leaping mark in defence helped set up the winning goal to Dom Sheed, with Nathan Vardy and Liam Ryan also involved in the famous passage of play.

West Coast’s mantra of ‘Friends, Family, Flag’ was ticked off that year.

A significant chunk of that squad are now either retired or near the tail-end of their careers but it seems even the new crop of Eagles have felt the devastation of Simpson’s exit, with No.1 draft pick Harley Reid taking to social media to express his sentiments.

“Couldn’t thank this bloke enough for what (he’s) done in such a short time of my career,” Reid wrote on Instagram.

“One of the greatest to ever do it and has put up with so much crap.”

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 18-07-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 18 July 202418 July 2024

Top Democrat leads calls for Joe Biden to step down as COVID diagnosis hits ailing campaign.