Perth footballer Beau Chatley still in ICU after suffering neck and spinal injury
Picture of Beau Chatley, taken from his Facebook account Beau Chatley, Facebook

East Perth Royals player Beau Chatley is still in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) following the neck and spinal injury he sustained last Saturday during a West Australian Football League (WAFL) game.

The East Perth Football Club said in an update on its website that Chatley “is still in the ICU in a serious but stable condition. He was taken off the respirator last night and is breathing unassisted.”

The Club said that Chatley has already asked for food for the first time and a slight movement of his right hand could be seen. They would also like to thank for all the support, well wishes and prayers that Chatley and the Club received. The Club is also asking everyone to respect the request of Chatley’s family for privacy with regards to this matter.

In an earlier statement, the Royals said that Chatley underwent surgery at the Royal Perth Hospital overnight. The Club said that the damage to Chatley’s “neck and spinal cord was significant” and “it is not yet known” whether Chatley “will make a full recovery."

PerthNow reports that Chatley suffered the serious injury during a derby loss to West Perth in a WAFL reserves fixture at the Medibank Stadium, Leederville, last Saturday.

Chatley was injured during a tackle and the West Perth player who tackled him, Mitchell Antonio, has been referred to the WAFL Tribunal for careless conduct.

The WAFC said that the “Tribunal hearing will be closed” and the outcome “will be advised immediately after the hearing has concluded.” WAFL General Manager Steve Hargrave said they are working with both East Perth and West Perth Football Clubs and providing appropriate support to the clubs and their player groups.

Antonio was believed to be devastated by the news of Chatley’s injury and was unable to continue playing after three-quarter time.

People who saw the play believe there was no malice intended on the tackle, but Chatley landed awkwardly after his guernsey was pulled up over his head.

The East Perth Football Club said it will be providing updates as they come.