Jordan Roughead will stay with Collingwood in an off-field capacity for the remainder of the season after announcing his shock retirement from the AFL.
The 201-gamer was told by surgeons and club medical staff to consider giving up all levels of football if he wanted to avoid needing a shoulder replacement.
The 31-year-old has battled shoulder issues and was limited to one game for the Pies this season due to a troublesome shoulder and a finger injury.
"Coming into this season, I knew that it was likely to be my last. I've had an ongoing shoulder issue for the last few years and knew at some point I would have to make a decision," Roughead said.
"This is not a decision I'm making because I want to. It's a decision I'm making because I need it for my long-term health and for the benefit of my family as well.
"(Football) has given the ability to contribute to something that was greater than just me and bigger than I what I was ever going to be able to accomplish (on my own).
"I've never been the fittest bloke, the strongest bloke, or the best kick or anything like that. But, I found a way to squeeze all the juice out of my lemon and be part of something bigger."
Roughead joined Collingwood at the end of the 2018, having played 138 games for the Bulldogs since debuting in 2010.
The Lake Wendouree product was selected with the 31st pick of the 2008 AFL draft after an impressive season with the North Ballarat Rebels.
Roughead played all but one game in the Bulldogs' 2016 premiership season and won the club's Tony Liberatore Most Improved Player award.
"I want to thank Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs for giving me the chance to play at the highest level. I will forever cherish all the coaches I had along the journey," Roughead said.
"The ones that stick out are Justin Longmuir and Matthew Boyd for helping me to enjoy the game again. I went through a period of time where I would have left the game in a pretty dissatisfied place, but they were able to reignite my passion for it.
"I want to thank my family. My mum and dad, all the way back to the Lake Wendouree footy club, they've been at every game.
"Of 201, I think Dad would've been at 195 of my AFL games."
Roughead held special praise for his wife, Bridget Davies, who he met at Damascus College.
At the end of his retirement speech, Roughead announced the pair was expecting their first child.
"Bridge has been by my side for 198 of my 201 games. I know it's been really hard due to the selfish manner of (me) being a professional athlete," he said.
"(Bridget) you've had so many roles across the journey. You've been a nurse, you've been a confidant, you've been a supporter.
"You've been my best friend through the whole journey so thanks for helping me get so much out of it and for helping me become the person I am today."
Roughead was a popular figure in the AFL for his work off the field.
He remains a powerful advocate for social issues and was named a finalist for the AFL's Jim Stynes Community Leadership award last year.
Roughead has been an assistant coach for Collingwood's AFLW team.
Collingwood football manager Graham Wright confirmed Roughead would continue to work in the football department for the rest of the season.
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