Three-time Richmond premiership defender David Astbury says he is content with his career and will retire from the AFL, aged just 30.
Astbury will play for the Tigers one final time on Saturday when they face Hawthorn, who will attempt to send off master coach Alastair Clarkson on a high, at the MCG.
Injuries plagued the early part of Astbury’s career, restricting him to just 24 games from 2011 to 2015, before he became an integral part of Richmond’s rise up the ladder.
His premature retirement after 155 games will leave a huge hole in the Tigers’ back-six as they seek to respond from a disappointing 2021 season.
“It really is a dream to be completely content with what my career consists of and be really proud of that,” Astbury said.
“I am really humbled by the football club wanting to keep me around, but I know this decision is right for me and for the club going forward.
“I am so proud that I have fulfilled my career and my dream at one club, this club.
“People say it is just a game, and they have got a point. It is a game. But that is not the reason that you do it.
“This group has delivered hope, purpose, connection and joy to our people – the Richmond people.”
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick labelled Astbury an “all-time great” of the Tigers and an “incredible human”.
“The legacy that this man will leave is up there with the very best players at our footy club,” Hardwick said.
“The legacy he leaves is one of selflessness and resilience. “The man missed two years and has had 14 operations.
“Most people would have just given up. But not Dave Astbury.”