Australian rules football greats and a host of stars from rugby union, the NBA, and even the Wiggles send messages to Lance Franklin after the Swans and Hawks legend’s retirement from the AFL.
- Sports stars pay tribute to Lance Franklin
- Athletes salute a legend of the game
- 36-year-old won’t play another AFL game
Australian sports stars of all stripes took to social media in droves to pay tribute to AFL icon Lance Franklin after he announced his decision to retire from the sport, effective immediately.
The 36-year-old’s departure from the sport will be officially announced by Sydney on Monday afternoon after the decorated striker informed his teammates of his decision earlier that day.
Franklin posted a short thank you message on Instagram shortly after the news broke, writing: ‘What trip. Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this crazy journey.’
The ex-Hawk strained his calf muscle against the Bombers and sat out the game after being substituted in the second quarter.
Franklin, who won a premiership with the Hawks in 2008 and 2013, will go down in history as one of the greatest players in Australian rules football history.
Buddy Franklin announced his decision to retire from the AFL effective immediately
Australian sports stars and media personalities have taken to social media in droves to pay tribute.
AFL star Brendan Fevola was quick to reply to Franklin’s message, writing, “Well done Bud,” along with some clapping emojis and a goat emoji.
Former Australian rugby star Drew Mitchell posted: ‘Great run! Proud of you mate!
NBA superstar Josh Giddey simply responded to Franklin’s post with a goat emoji.
Ironman Matt Poole posted: “What a race congrats bro,” along with a love heart emoji.
Retired Wallaby Matt Giteau wrote: ‘One of a kind big boy! unreal race’, along with love heart emojis.
Collingwood midfielder Tom Mitchell simply posted a crown emoji.
Soccer icon Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico posted: ‘Well played mate.’
Buddy’s wife, Jesinta, wrote: ‘The time of our lives.’
Iconic children’s group The Wiggles posted: ‘A Buddy like no other. We are all proud of you!
Meanwhile, tributes to Franklin poured in on Twitter from other areas of the soccer world.
The Wiggles were full of praise for Franklin, calling him “a friend like no other”.
Veteran sportswriter Stephen Quartermain spoke for many when he said fans should be thankful that they got to see one of the sport’s all-time greats in action for so long.
Sports presenter Ryan Daniels wrote: ‘Lance Franklin is firmly in the conversation as the greatest player in the AFL era. Incredible race. 354 games (19th all time) 1066 goals (4th all time). 2 flags, 8 x AA (one as Captain), 4 x Coleman. Approximately 11,734 ‘holy hell!’ moments.’
Footy reporter Adrian Barich posted: ‘The best product of the modern age has been retired. Buddy Franklin, 36, will finish in 354 games, 1066 extraordinary goals, 8 AA, 4 Coleman, 2 flags. The best of Dowerin with Mal Brown and Murray Couper. On behalf of the Demons, congratulations on an amazing run.
Journalist and newscaster Stephen Quartermain wrote: ‘Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin’s football career is over. Always sad when a champion retires. But let us be thankful that we have been able to observe his brilliance for nearly two decades.
Lance Franklin will end his career as the fourth best kicker in VFL and AFL history.
Franklin now sits fourth among the AFL and VFL’s all-time list of kickers with 1,066 over his 354 games, with his 1,000th goal setting off wild scenes as fans flooded the SCG during the Swans’ clash with Geelong in March of last year.
The Western Australian surprised 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 spark rumors that their game against Richmond on July 6 would be his last at the MCG. .
Unfortunately, that rumor turned out to be right on the money.