Former West Coast Eagles player and AFL mark of the year winner Ashley Sampi reveals he has multiple sclerosis
Posted On May 4, 2022
Former West Coast Eagles player Ashley Sampi has revealed he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Former AFL player Ashley Sampi said the diagnosis was “hard and overwhelming”
- Sampi played five seasons as a forward for West Coast Eagles
- He is taking part in a charity challenge to raise funds for research into the disease
The 38-year-old Sampi played 78 games for West Coast between 2002 and 2006, kicking 97 goals for the club and playing in the 2005 grand final against Sydney.
Sampi is best known for taking the AFL’s mark of the year in 2004 for a stunning leap on the shoulders of teammate Andrew Embley against Melbourne at the MCG.
He made the announcement about his health on the Facebook page of his uncle, the actor and entertainer Ernie Dingo.
He apologised to family and friends for not telling people individually, saying it “would’ve been too hard to let you all know what I am going through and what my path for the future holds” for him, his wife Gerri and their children.
Sampi said he was joining the MS Foundation’s charity challenge for May, which calls on people to walk, run or cycle 50km and raise funds to support MS — his goal for the month is to hit the 100km mark.
“Anybody can join hopefully with family and friends joining and with donations to ‘Team Sampi’ I will raise some money to help with the fight for MS. If we can raise more than my target goal it will be truly appreciated, thanks for your help and donation and your support.”
The Team Sampi fundraising page had an initial target of $6,000 — that target has already been exceeded, with $7,192 donated by early Wednesday afternoon.
He said he and his family were still coming to terms with the diagnosis, and asked for time and help in his fundraising efforts.
“I know that you all will want answers I guess but please try and hold off,” he said.
“I thank you all for your love and care and for your support.”