Phil Tagell is an ordinary footy fan and grass-roots volunteer who stood up for an injured player denied the aid of the stretcher when he was accidentally knocked unconscious in an under 18 practice game in early 2009. For his efforts, he was king-hit by the umpire who denied the player the use of the stretcher. The umpire had quite a history of threatening and carrying out violence but his employers, AFL Queensland, denied all knowledge of his history, 'we knew nothing' was their defence and for 2 fractures of the skull, permanent disabilities, 8 months off work, and considerable pain and suffering, all Phil got was a bill for their legal fees. So much for 'protecting the head', their only priority was to protect their brand and deny all liability. Phil appealed to Andrew Demetriou, then CEO of the AFL and despite his plea for some consideration, he only got a threat of more legal fees and bankruptcy. His 1000s of hours as a club volunteer, support for indigenous players, his 3 sons' 800+ games and still going, his father's career in footy and his membership of 4 clubs at various levels meant nothing to Demetriou. Read his story from his earliest days as a Magpies' supporter in Melbourne to his significant contribution to the game in Queensland and you will be shocked that he has been treated so shabbily as he has.
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