Dayne Beams is expected to return to footy next year.
Dayne Beams is expected to return to footy next year.

Beams issues heartfelt plea after walking away from AFL

COLLINGWOOD star Dayne Beams has revealed he's a "broken man" but vowed to shine a light on mental health issues as he steps away from football to focus on his health and family.

Beams, 28, is still plagued by grief after the death of his father, Philip, who died in March last year.

"I am a broken man at the moment and this is very, very real for myself and the people that I love at the moment,'' Beams posted on Instagram.

"I am not posting this for people to feel sorry for me or to speculate about my life, I am posting this because this is an issue that I will continue to shine a light on because it is real and it can be so so debilitating if it's not treated.''

He pleaded with people suffering depression to reach out and tell someone.

"Think if this were your husband, wife, child, friend experiencing the lows that come with depression, ask yourself what would you do for them,'' he said.

"Lastly to my family, thank you for inspiring me to beat this illness and always having my back. I love you all.

"Please start having the conversations and helping each other.''

Collingwood defender Darcy Moore praised Beams for being open and honest about his personal struggles.

"For him to be able to be so open about it, about such a serious issue and something that is clearly one of the biggest issues in the game, it speaks volumes to his character," Moore said on Fox Footy's On The Mark on Wednesday night.

"He's only been back at the club for a short time and now he's having his own personal struggles, but if he can be as open as he has been about that and approach these issues with such an amazing attitude, he's going to set a really good example for younger players."

A close friend said Beams, who was expected to return to football in 2020, was "in a bad way".

Another friend said there was no other reason Beams took indefinite leave from the Magpies other than to deal with the ongoing challenges of losing his father.

Before he posted on Instagram, Beams released a statement saying: "I have been on the record in the past about the battles I have fought. Right now, I need to step away and regather myself.

"I hope people will understand that this is something I need to do for myself and, importantly, my family. Our wellbeing is the highest priority."

Beams played nine games for the Pies this year before a hip injury sidelined him.

He wasn't expected to return this season.

Recruited from Brisbane at the end of last year, Beams had an interrupted post-Christmas period, missing training because of illness and missing the official team photo day on February 5.

His contract expires in 2022.

Beams shared a happy snap with his family on Instagram in recent days. Picture: Instagram
Beams shared a happy snap with his family on Instagram in recent days. Picture: Instagram

Beams made headlines last week when he called out an internet troll who had made a gibe about betting. The post included an offensive comment about Beams' father.

Beams replied: "Why should players just have to put up with this s---. It's disgusting some of the abuse players cop."

Beams is the fourth player this year to go public with their mental health problems.

In June, Western Bulldogs midfielder Lin Jong, announced he would take a mental health break and is still on leave.

Also in June, Port Adelaide's Matthew Broadbent was granted a leave of absence by the club to focus on his mental health.

In May, Bulldogs premiership star Tom Boyd announced his retirement.

Beams' father lost his battle with bowel cancer in March last year.

Two weeks later Beams revealed to his then-Brisbane teammates the depth of his grief.

"I really feel that it is really good for younger players to see that someone senior, like the leader of their group, is vulnerable,'' he said.

MESSAGES FROM DAYNE'S HEART

Perfect pictures of a beautiful young family hid the pain bubbling below the surface for Beams.

That was until the Collingwood midfielder revealed his mental health battle to his 70,000 Instagram followers.

Three days ago, a proud Beams posted a series of pictures from son Carter's first birthday party.

"Happy 1st birthday party my little mate," the footballer wrote.

"Dad will always have your back."

Beams and his young son in a picture on his Instagram page. Picture: Instagram
Beams and his young son in a picture on his Instagram page. Picture: Instagram

In another post, he called his young son a "little champion".

He wrote: "Dad loves you a ton."

At the end of May the footballer, who wears his heart on his sleeve, paid a loving tribute to wife Kelly on her birthday.

"The kids and I love and adore you," he wrote under a photograph of the couple.

But a post last October hinted at the grief torturing Beams since his father passed away in 2018.

Sharing a picture drinking a beer at his father Philip "T-Pot" Beams' grave, Dayne said he missed his dad "like crazy" and thought about him every day.

"I hope you are enjoying a cold one," he said.

Then, just a few weeks ago, the footballer posted a picture of his beloved father dressed in a blue suit and fedora.

He captioned the picture: "Always and forever".

Dayne Beams says he needs to focus on his mental health Picture: Michael Klein
Dayne Beams says he needs to focus on his mental health Picture: Michael Klein

The emotional post was a departure from the usually bright and positive musings of the seemingly ordinary player about his life and work.

He recently used the platform to share his excitement at speaking with former Collingwood star Dane Swan.

In March, he shared a selection of photos with his kids at training with him.

"To have my kids with me on family day was a bonus," he said.

In the series of posts, he is seen teaching his eldest, Ruby, how to kick and giving his young son Carter a crawl on the hallowed Collingwood ground.

He also posted about using his position to help others through visits to hospitals to spend time with sick fans.

The player thanked sick fan Mary for giving him strength.

"I feel extremely proud that this job allows me to do things like be able to put a smile on a beautiful person like Mary," he shared in December.

Other players, organisations and his loving wife commented on his Instagram page yesterday with messages of support and compassion.