Ben Cousins looked like his old self as he made a return to the footy field for the first time in more than a decade.

The fallen AFL star, whose life has gone off the rails because of drug addiction, laced the boots up again as he turned out for the Queens Park Bulldogs in the Perth Metro Football League on the weekend.

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The West Coast Eagles premiership-winning captain and 2005 Brownlow Medallist looked in terrific physical shape as he helped the Bulldogs to a 40-point win over Koongamia, starting on the forward flank and playing a role in his team's first goal of the game.

The 42-year-old kicked a major of his own in the third quarter and The West Australian reports there was plenty of crowd support for the ex-AFL superstar, with roars of approval erupting when he took his first possession.


Ben Cousins is seen playing football in Perth
Ben Cousins is seen playing football in Perth

The publication reports Cousins mingled with teammates and spectators alike before the opening bounce and he was a clear favourite among those at the suburban ground.

Queens Park president Ross White told The West Australian it was the biggest crowd he'd seen at the Bulldogs' home ground for a "very, very long time" and the club was a place for "second chances".

"The best thing about him is just the way he interacts with his teammates, opposition players," White said.

"He cares about people and always gives his time just to talk and have photos.

"The sort of old Ben who cared about supporters is still that - and now it's our supporters.

"They just love him."

Cousins' return to footy comes after he was spotted in public last month sporting a new clean-cut look. He was pictured with fans at West Coast's Round 5 win over Collingwood at Optus Stadium in Perth - and the photos showed a transformed appearance from the man sentenced to a seven-month prison term after being found guilty of stalking the mother of his children, Maylea Tinecheff.

He was released from Hakea Prison in December having served his full sentence.

Cousins had not been seen in public since his release, but the sight of him returning to watch his former club showed promising signs. In a photo shared by a West Coast Eagles fan page, the midfielder appeared happy to be surrounded by adoring fans.

At the time it was reported Cousins was hoping to return to local footy with Queens Park, aiming to play between six-10 games this season after recovering from a rolled ankle.

Before his hit-out on the weekend, the high-profile star had not played any type of football since his retirement in 2010.

Cousins played 238 games for West Coast and finished his AFL career at Richmond, playing a further 32 games.

Since retiring, Cousins' well publicised drug addiction has continued to make headlines. Cousins pleaded guilty to a drug offence in April and received a $1500 fine after police found him in East Victoria Park with about 2.5 grams of methamphetamine in his possession.

Cousins has previously served prison time for stalking Ms Tinecheff.


Originally published as Ripped Ben Cousins returns to footy