Travis Varcoe has returned to Melbourne after rushing back to Adelaide to be with his family. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Travis Varcoe has returned to Melbourne after rushing back to Adelaide to be with his family. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Sister of AFL star fighting for life

MARGARET Varcoe, the sister of AFL midfielder Travis Varcoe, continues to fight for life after sustaining a sickening head injury during a women's grand final at the weekend.

SA Health has confirmed the 27-year-old is in a critical condition after being rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital after the incident in the division two Adelaide Footy League decider between Angle Vale and Mt Lofty at Thebarton Oval on Sunday.

The Angle Vale player was involved in an accidental collision with a teammate during the game.

She left the field but collapsed in the change rooms and was rushed to hospital by ambulance.

Margaret Varcoe is in a critical condition at the Royal Adelaide Hospital following a head clash during a match at the weekend. Picture: North Adelaide Football Club
Margaret Varcoe is in a critical condition at the Royal Adelaide Hospital following a head clash during a match at the weekend. Picture: North Adelaide Football Club

Angle Vale officials would not comment but a statement on the club's Facebook page said: "On behalf of the Angle Vale Football Club our love and prayers go out to the Varcoe family.

"Maggie was injured in an on field accident during our women's grand final on Sunday afternoon. Her family is by her side as she continues her fight and we ask can you please respect their privacy.

"Maggie is a much-loved member of our club and we will be here to support her and the family in anyway we can. Stay strong Maggie xxx."

North Adelaide Football Club, where Margaret played in the SANFL Statewide Super Women's League this season, also issued a statement.

"The North Adelaide Football Club extends its thoughts and heartfelt best wishes to the family of Margaret Varcoe," the statement said.

"Margaret, who is a valued member of our Statewide Super SANFL Women's League playing group, sustained a head injury and was treated at the ground before being taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital where her family is by her side."

Mount Lofty secretary Johanna Paddick told The Advertiser the incident was traumatic for all who witnessed it.

Ms Paddick said the game was stopped for about 10 minutes while Varcoe was treated.

"I did see it, but it was right over the other side of the oval," she said.

"It was just terrible and very distressing.

"It's just a terrible injury and both teams' runners helped get her off the ground.

"We just wish her all the best and it's not what we want to see happen, ever."

A Collingwood spokesman said the club's thoughts were with Travis Varcoe and his family.

He said Collingwood did not play until Saturday week against West Coast in Perth so there was no pressing need to consider his availability.

In a statement, the Adelaide Footy League said the Angle Vale player was conscious and able to leave the field after the collision.

The league said she collapsed in the change rooms and received immediate treatment before an ambulance arrived.

The other Angle Vale player involved in the collision suffered a fractured cheekbone.

Mount Lofty won the grand final 5.4 (34) to Angle Vale 2.7 (19).

Mt Lofty paid tribute on the day to its former player, Ellen Maple, who was killed in a car crash at Glengowrie in April.

Players wore white arm bands with "Ellen Maple #13" written on them and ran through a banner that read: "For us, for Lofty, for Ellen".

Maple's twin sister, Tess, booted two goals in the victory.



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