Western Bulldogs premiership hero and beloved club figure Liam Picken has been forced into an immediate retirement from the AFL due to on-going symptoms stemming from concussion issues.

Picken has not played since suffering a severe concussion in a 2018 pre-season game, with his last “official” AFL game taking place in August of 2017.

Picken spent the entirety of 2018 on the sidelines battling a raft of post-concussion issues, including chronic pain, balance issues and dizziness, memory and focus issues, as well as light and noise sensitivity.

As one of the most consistently popular members of the playing group, Picken’s career covered 198 games for 87 goals, first as a hard-nosed midfield tagger, and later on as a utility goal sneak. Picken was a central figure in the Bulldogs fairytale 2016 AFL Premiership win, booting three goals in the Grand Final itself.

Senior coach Luke Beveridge asserted that Picken is “one of the Club’s great servants” and that the absence of his presence in the locker room will be deeply felt by the playing group.

It’s never an easy thing to accept that one of the Club’s great servants will finish his career.

For the duration of his career, Liam has embodied the core values we hold dear as a football club, and we will miss his presence greatly.

We have always had a family-first mentality at the Bulldogs, and that should always be the overriding consideration when it comes to a player’s health and any impact that has on playing football.

Liam can be immensely proud of his achievements.  He is loved and admired within the Club, and universally respected by the whole football public, which is a true indication of the impression he has made on the game.

The Bulldogs have committed to supporting Picken off the field in his bid to regain full health, as well as provide assistance as he transitions into the next phase of his life.

Source: Western Bulldogs FC
Image: Getty Images / Adam Trafford