All football careers come to an end.
However, when a career has gone as long as Drew Petrie it is impossible not to be emotional – especially if you’re a North Melbourne supporter.
Package that with the departure AFL record games holder and legend Brent Harvey, and another long-time servant Michael Firrito on the same night, and no wonder there was a tear or two flowing as they left the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Of course, Nick Dal Santo also played his last game for the Kangaroos, but there was not the same emotional attachment to the 300-gamer, who gave great service in three years after crossing from St Kilda.
For anyone with royal blue and white running through their veins, Petrie, Harvey and Firrito have been the epitome of North Melbourne stretching back two decades.
They’ve been there through thick and thin – accumulating 1023 games for the Kangaroos.
With only Harvey (432) playing more games with North Melbourne than Petrie on 316, the big number 20 has reached the heights of a champion Shinboner and certainly one of the most popular figures to ever play at Arden Street.
While he finishes without a premiership, Petrie’s career has been nothing less than decorated, having been a vice-captain, All-Australian and multiple leading goalkicker, as well as a fine leader and great ambassador for the club, and the game.
He also bows out as one of Ballarat’s greatest football exports – playing more games than any other player to have spent his entire junior career in the city before hitting the big time.
PETRIE FACT FILE
Born: October 15, 1982
Junior club: Ballarat Swans
TAC Cup team: North Ballarat Rebels
Drafted: pick 23 in 2000
AFL debut: round 1 2001 v Essendon
Jumper number: 20
AFL games: 316
Season by season game
2001: 9 games
2002: 10 games
2003: 22 games
2004: 22 games
2005: 22 games
2006: 21 games
2007: 25 games
2008: 23 games
2009: 22 games
2010: 2 games
2011: 21 games
2012: 23 games
2013: 22 games
2014: 25 games
2015: 24 games
2016: 23 games
100 games: v Adelaide 2006
200 games: v Essendon 2012
250 games: v Fremantle 2014
300 games v St Kilda 3016
Represented Australia against Ireland 2008
North Melbourne vice-captain 2009-2015
Club leading goalkicker: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015
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