Richmond superstar Alex Rance has retired, effective immediately.
One of the greatest defenders of his era, Rance says he wants to focus on his family and his religion. He had two years to go on his current contract.
The 30-year-old missed almost the entire 2019 AFL season after injuring his ACL in Round 1.
Stream over 50 sports Live & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS on your TV, computer, mobile or tablet. Just $25/month, no lock-in contract. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >
“I am someone who will always give their best to what they commit to, and I’m proud of the time, energy and dedication that I’ve put towards my football career,” Rance said.
“Right now, I feel I have served my purpose in terms of my on-field performance and cultural impact, and I’m so grateful to the football club for their support and care in allowing me to do that in my own unique way.
“Now I feel is the right time for me to put the same time and energy into other areas of my life that need it, and to prioritise the more important things to me, such as my spiritual growth, my family and friends.”
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale described Rance was one of the greatest players in Tigers history.
“Alex, his manager and the club have been in regular communication about Alex’s future, and while we will miss him dearly at our football club, we understand and respect his need to step away from football to focus on his personal life,” Gale said.
“He leaves this club a highly-decorated premiership player and it has been a privilege for all us to watch him play. He is clearly one of the greatest players to have pulled on the Richmond jumper.”
“Alex has been the ultimate competitor, an incredible character of the club, and a fine example of a Richmond Man.
“Although he’s stepping away from playing football, he’ll always be part of Richmond and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
7 News’ Tom Browne broke the story via Twitter on Thursday morning.
Rance is a five-time All-Australian, being named captain of the side in 2017. He also won one Jack Dyer Medal (2015) and was a Tigers vice-captain between 2017 and 2019.
He played 200 games after being selected with Pick 18 in the 2007 national draft out of Swan Districts.