Jeremy McGovern and wife in 36-hour ordeal as Adam Simpson makes call on coaching finale

McGovern is making a massive road trip from Melbourne to Perth for Simpson's farewell.

Not even a punctured lung and a fractured rib will stop Jeremy McGovern from attending Adam Simpson's farewell this weekend with the star West Coast defender in the midst of a 36-hour road trip across Australia so he can pay tribute to his mentor or friend. McGovern was taken to a Melbourne hospital to assess his serious internal injuries following a heavy bump during West Coast's 54-point loss to Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday.

Despite being discharged from hospital he has not been cleared to fly due to his punctured lung. And while the plan was to stay in Melbourne until he was able to board a flight to Perth, news of Simpson's sacking on Tuesday has changed his plans.

Jeremy McGovern and his wife left and Adam Simpson right
A punctured lung and a fractured rib won't stop Jeremy McGovern from attending Adam Simpson's farewell. Image: Instagram/Getty

McGovern is desperate to return to Perth for Simpson's farewell and with flying out of the equation, the defender drove to Adelaide to meet his wife and the pair are now on their way to Perth. Although Simpson won't coach against Brisbane at Optus Stadium on Sunday, he will do the coin toss and be given the chance to thank and bid farewell to Eagles fans. It is an occasion that McGovern is desperate not to miss.

The recent text message leak, in which three Eagles players reportedly voiced their desire for Simpson to be axed, raised doubts over whether the premiership coach had lost the dressing room. But McGovern's desperation to support his now former coach shows the care and love the squad has for Simpson.

McGovern played through cracked ribs - similar to the injury he is now nursing - during West Coast's incredible grand final win over Collingwood in 2018. And his leaping mark in defence helped set up the winning goal to Dom Sheed, with Nathan Vardy and Liam Ryan also involved in the famous passage of play.

A significant group from that grand final triumph are now either retired or nearing retirement. But it isn't just those who won the flag under Simpson that respect him.

For example, No.1 draft pick Harley Reid took to social media to express his gratitude for Simpson after he was sacked. "Couldn't thank this bloke enough for what (he's) done in such a short time of my career," Reid wrote on Instagram. "One of the greatest to ever do it and has put up with so much crap."

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Simpson has opted against having a farewell game, meaning interim coach Jarrad Schofield will step into the coaching box for Sunday's clash with Brisbane. Schofield has spent the past three years as an assistant to Simpson and also led WAFL club Subiaco to flags in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Simpson was informed on Monday night the Eagles wanted to have a fresh start with a new coach but he was given the option of having a farewell game. However, he declined that offer on Wednesday. Simpson will be acknowledged out on the field at Optus Stadium leading into the first bounce of Sunday's match, allowing the crowd to show their gratitude to the man who helped them to premiership glory in 2018.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Adam Simpson and Shannon Hurn show the premiership cup to the fans after winning yesterday's AFL Grand Final at Langley Park on September 30, 2018 in Perth, Australia. The West Coast Eagles beat the Collingwood Magpies 11.13 (79) to 11.8 (74).  (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Adam Simpson will be acknowledged out on the field at Optus Stadium leading into the first bounce of Sunday's match.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful support I have enjoyed from our members and fans over the last 11 years," Simpson said in a statement. "They have been fantastic from the day I arrived and have stuck with us.

"It's easy to rock up every week when things are humming along, but through the challenging times over the last three years, they continued to come and support us. They're the best."

with AAP