Leigh Adams Retires
North Melbourne courageous small forward/midfielder Leigh Adams has been medically retired from the AFL, effective immediately.
The decision came after ongoing consultation with club medical staff and specialists, following a series of recent concussions.
The 27-year-old is back to full fitness and has no lingering issues but told teammates on Friday he had to put his health and future first.
Affectionately known as ‘Patch’, Adams was well known for his uncompromising attack on the ball and willingness to throw his body into any contest.
Coach Brad Scott said Adams did not always get the recognition he deserved outside of Arden St, and said his commitment to the game and his teammates was second to none.
“It’s a real credit to Patch, that in my view, he redefined that forward/midfielder role in today’s footy. He really did play that role as well as any player in the competition,” Scott said.
“Patch was such a highly valued person and highly valued performer for us over such a long period.
“But we know there are things that are more important than the game. As a footy club, I’m proud of the way everyone has supported Patch through a really difficult time and certainly support his decision.”
After copping a heavy knock at the end of 2014, Adams missed the Roos’ finals series and had an interrupted pre-season in 2015, undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in summer.
While making a return via a VFL practice match early in the year, he copped a head knock and was forced to spend more time on the sidelines as he recovered from the injury.
Adams attempted to make another return to AFL in the months following, however he received yet another glancing blow to the head while playing for North Melbourne’s VFL affiliate Werribee in March. Specialists decided that knock should be his last.
A one-club player, Adams made his debut for the Kangaroos against Geelong in 2007 after being picked up by North in the 2006 Rookie Draft.
Captain of the 2006 Vic Metro team, he averaged 24 disposals a game, however a hip injury restricted him from testing at the draft camp and may have been a factor in him being overlooked during the National Draft.
Essendon and North invited Adams to train in the lead-up to the Rookie Draft, and it was the Kangaroos who picked the courageous youngster with their first selection.
Drafted: Pick #3, 2006 Rookie Draft
Debut: Round 5, April 29, 2007 vs Geelong at Kardinia Park
37 disposals (12 kicks, 25 handballs), 6 marks, 4 tackles and goal in Round 2 against Greater Western Sydney at Blundstone Arena, 2012
29 disposals (18 kicks, 11 handballs), 5 marks, 7 tackles, 1 goal in Round 4 against the Sydney Swans at the SCG, 2014
28 disposals (14 kicks, 14 handballs), 8 marks, 7 inside 50s, 1 goal, 2 Brownlow Medal votes in Round 22 against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium, 2011
26 disposals (14 kicks, 12 handballs), 4 marks, 3 goals, 3 Brownlow Medal votes in Round 13 against Adelaide at Etihad Stadium, 2012