Peter Matera: Brother and fellow West Coast Eagles legend Phil Matera lands at Melbourne Airport
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Peter Matera: Brother and fellow West Coast Eagles legend Phil Matera lands at Melbourne Airport

Former West Coast player Phil Matera has landed at Melbourne Airport on his way to the bed of his brother and fellow Eagles legend Peter, who suffered a heart attack at his home in regional Victoria.

Peter Matera: Brother and fellow West Coast Eagles legend Phil Matera lands at Melbourne Airport

Matera revealed that his brother is in a “stable” condition at Bendigo hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home near Echuca over the weekend.

The Norm Smith medalist and two-time premiership Eagle played 253 games for the club in a 13-year career, including six seasons with his brother. “He is in stable condition; we have been in contact with his partner Suzy,” Phil told 7NEWS at Melbourne Airport.

“He’s in intensive care in Bendigo, so I’m going there tonight, and tomorrow, we’ll see him.”

Camera icon West Coast Eagle’s Phil Matera (left) and Peter Matera. Credit: Iain Gillespie/WA News

Matera was chopping wood on his family’s property when he had the heart attack, and Phil said the situation could have been much direr if he had been in a paddock and further away from his partner.

“He was chopping wood and got some chest pain, and luckily, he wasn’t on the tractor like he normally does,” he said.

“He was lucky that he wasn’t on the tractor; they were together, which was great because the doctor clearly said he had someone with him and they could take him to the hospital immediately.”

Matera also revealed that it had been over two years since he had last seen his brother, but the horrific health scare had happened just days before they reunited during a round of golf and the Eagles’ match in Adelaide.

The club’s first-ever Norm Smith medalist would fly to Perth next week ahead of the 1992 premiership team’s 30th reunion.

“It was a real shame; we were queuing up to play golf on Friday; he flew to Adelaide, and so did I to play a few rounds of golf with some friends in Adelaide, and we went to the Adelaide-Eagles match as group friends,” he said.

“I hadn’t seen him for a few years due to COVID restrictions, and he told me last week how excited he was to return to the 1992 reunion.

Camera IconPhil Matera (left) and Peter Matera during West Coast Eagles training at Subiaco in their playing days. Credit: Iain Gillespie/WA News

“I hope he’s healthy enough to get back to that, but let’s make sure he gets out of the hospital first.”

Matera has received an outpouring of support from ex-teammates and the football community, including Eagles coach Adam Simpson, who described him as a ‘sensational player’ and sent the club’s best wishes to the family.

“We talk about legacy players at our club, and he’s one of them; he was pretty special,” Simpson told 7NEWS.

“The Eagles in the 90s were a pretty tough side.

“Our condolences go out to the family.”

Matera said he was grateful for all the support his beloved brother had received.

“We’ve had tons of messages from all his ex-teammates, and all his friends and family have all sent reports,” he said.

“It’s amazing how the WA footy community comes together when people are like this. I thank them all for their support and get well wishes.”

Matera landed with the Eagles on pick four in the 1989 draft from South Fremantle, and the WAFL club chief executive said everyone at the club wished him a “quick and full recovery”.

“The South Fremantle Football Club is saddened by the news of the sudden heart attack of former Bulldog and Eagle Peter Matera in Victoria today,” he said.

“Peter is a much loved WA footballer, having been called up to the West Coast Eagles from South Fremantle in 1989.”

A five-time All-Australian representative, Matera won a best and fairest in 1997 and was the first Eagle ever to win a Norm Smith medal when he scored five goals in the club’s first major win.

Premiership teammate Guy McKenna, who currently lives in Victoria, will also visit him in the hospital.

Another Matera brother, Wally, played for the Eagles but was only with the club for two seasons before transferring to Fitzroy.

Wally’s son Brandon, Peter’s cousin, played for the Gold Coast Suns and the Fremantle Dockers and is now a premiership player at Subiaco.