Robbie Gray will finish his career as one of the most decorated players in Port Adelaide history after announcing Saturday’s showdown against Adelaide will be his final AFL match.
Gray has played 270 games and booted 365 goals across a glittering 16-year career that includes three club best and fairests and four All-Australian nods.
The 34-year-old, who has also won a record five Showdown Medals in battles with cross-town rivals the Crows, told his teammates of his decision on Tuesday morning.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had over the journey with this club,” Gray said.
“I’ve got some amazing friends and memories that I’ll take with me forever, but it’s time for others to get their chance now.
“I want to thank my teammates, my coaches and all the volunteers and support staff that have been there along the way for me.”
Port coach Ken Hinkley described Gray as an all-time great of the club and the AFL.
“I said last week that in my opinion Rob has been the greatest player at our football club in the AFL era and I stick by that. His record demands that kind of recognition,” Hinkley said.
“I have never seen anyone who can make our great game look so simple and do such difficult things with such ease.
“We have been able to count on him to deliver in the big moments and he has won so many awards and accolades, yet he remains the most humble team-first player who focuses so much attention on making others around him better.
“It’s a mark of his talent and extraordinary impact that many others have been described as the next Robbie Gray, but I think it is fair to say there will never be another Robbie Gray.”
A persistent knee injury has limited Gray to 15 games this year and played a significant part in his decision to call time.
– All-Australian selection (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018)
– AFLCA Player of the Year (2014)
– AFL Player Ratings Team of the Decade (2010s)
– International Rules (2011, 2014, 2015)
– Rising Star nominee (Round 12, 2007)
– John Cahill Medal (2014, 2015, 2016)
– Leading goalkicker (2011, 2018)
– Showdown Medal (2010, 2015, 2018 x2, 2019)
– Life member (2016)
– Coaches’ Award (2009)