Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin retires from football on the heels of legendary AFL career for Sydney and Hawthorn
- The 36-year-old footballing great will not play another AFL game
Sydney and Hawthorn great Lance Franklin has announced his retirement and will not play another AFL game after picking up injury in the Swans’ loss to Essendon on Sunday.
The 36-year-old’s departure from the sport will be officially announced by Sydney on Monday afternoon after the striker reportedly informed his teammates of his decision earlier that day.
Franklin posted a short thank you message on Instagram shortly after the news broke.
‘What trip. Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this crazy journey,’ he wrote, accompanied by a love heart emoji.
Franklin showed a dejected figure after being substituted with a calf injury against Essendon on Saturday (pictured) in an unwelcome end to his last AFL game.
The iconic forward (pictured playing against Essendong) seemed to have turned his season around after missing several games through injury and suffering a dip in form earlier in the year.
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 another with Sydney in 2013, will go down in history as one of the greatest players in Australian rules football history.
He now sits fourth on the AFL and VFL all-time list of kickers with 1,066 majors in 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. .
Those rumors have now become a sad truth for soccer fans of all persuasions.
Rumors have been spreading all year that this season would be Franklin’s last, and now they’ve become a sad truth for football fans of all persuasions.
Soccer great Leigh Montagna said Sydney should have announced Franklin’s retirement in May after the former Hawk had just four turnovers and went scoreless in a loss to Fremantle at the SCG.
He was joined by Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton who said that Franklin had lost all his weapons and will continue to be beaten by faster and more agile opponents after watching him fight the Dockers.
It’s a bit sad. You have 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 of incredible size.
However, Franklin had found better form recently, scoring twice against Richmond on 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.
He finished his last game against the Bombers with just three disposals, two marks and one handball.
More to come…