Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin retires from footy effective immediately after legendary AFL career for Sydney and Hawthorn
- 36-year-old footy great will not play another game of AFL
Sydney and Hawthorn great Lance Franklin has announced his retirement and will not play another game of AFL after being injured in the Swans’ loss to Essendon on Sunday.
The 36-year-old’s exit from the sport was officially announced by Sydney on Monday afternoon after the forward told teammates of his decision earlier in the day.
Franklin posted a brief message of gratitude on Instagram shortly after the news became public.
‘What a journey. Thanks to everyone who has been on this crazy ride with me,’ he wrote, accompanied by a love heart emoji.
Franklin cut a dejected figure after being subbed off with a calf injury against Essendon on Saturday (pictured) in an unwanted end to his last ever game of AFL
The iconic forward (pictured playing against Essendon) appeared to have turned his season around after missing several games with injury and suffering a dip in form earlier in the year
Franklin thanked ‘everyone who has been on this crazy ride with me’ in an Instagram message he posted soon after the news became public
The ex-Hawk injured his calf muscle against the Bombers and took no further part in the match after being subbed off in the second quarter.
Franklin, who won a premiership with the Hawks in 2008 and 2013, will go down as one of the greatest players in the history of Aussie Rules football.
He’s now ranked fourth among the all-time list of AFL and VFL goalkickers with 1066 majors from his 354 games, with his 1000th goal setting off wild scenes as fans flooded the SCG during the Swans’ clash with Geelong in March last year.
The West Australian stunned the game at the end of the 2013 season by signing a massive nine-year deal with the Swans.
He missed games earlier this season while struggling with injury and suffered a dip in form, leading his wife Jesinta to blast rumours his game against Richmond on July 6 would be his last at the MCG.
Those rumours have now become a sad truth for footy fans of all stripes.
Rumours have been spreading all year that this season would be Franklin’s last – and now they’ve become a sad truth for footy fans of all stripes
There was pandemonium at the SCG when the Swans icon kicked his 1000th AFL goal (pictured) last year in scenes that made headlines around the world
The Hawthorn champion (pictured celebrating the club’s 2013 premiership win) joined the club in 2005 and soon proved himself to be one of the most exciting players in the league
The Swans confirmed
AFL great Leigh Montagna said Sydney should have announced Franklin’s retirement back in May after the former Hawk had just four disposals and went goalless in a loss to Fremantle at the SCG.
He was joined by Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton, who said Franklin had lost all his weapons and will continue to be beaten by faster, more agile opponents after seeing him struggle against the Dockers.
‘It’s a little sad. You’ve got your weapons as a footballer. Your brain is fantastic, you know how to play. But his weapons have always been his incredible agility, his incredible pace for someone with incredible size.
However, Franklin had found better form recently, kicking two goals against Richmond with 15 disposals, two goals and 12 disposals against the Dogs, followed by three majors and 11 disposals in last Saturday’s away win over Fremantle.
Jesinta Franklin married Buddy in 2009 and they have a daughter and son together
Franklin is seen holding his daughter Tullulah on his hip after a Swans game, accompanied by his sister Bianca (left)
He finished his final game against the Bombers with just three disposals, two marks and one handball, just weeks after celebrating his 350th AFL match against St Kilda.
The left-footer with the unmistakable goalkicking action scored 580 majors in 182 games for Hawthorn after joining the club as the No.5 overall draft pick in 2005.
His breakout season came in 2007, when he finished with 63 goals, including seven in his first match of finals footy.
The next season was a triumph for Franklin, who slotted home 113 goals to win the Coleman Medal as the Hawks stormed to an upset win over Geelong in the grand final.