An injury setback this week, the latest in a long line for Collingwood premiership defender Ben Reid, has forced him into retirement.
The 2011 All-Australian informed teammates and football staff of his decision on Friday and won’t make the trip to Perth for next week’s elimination final against West Coast at Optus Stadium.
Reid, 31, was originally locked in to make the trip for what could have been one final crack at adding to his 152 AFL games after battling hamstring issues this year.
But the final setback brought about a swift end.
“This year was going to be my last and I had a minor setback on Thursday, so rather than take a risk and go to Perth I thought it was better to let a younger player go, someone with their future ahead of them,” Reid said.
“In a sense, I grew up at Collingwood, and I’m just so thankful for all that I experienced, all that I learnt and the many great people I met.
“It was just a wonderful time in my life that I wish could go on forever but, of course, it never can and my time has come. The next phase of my life, with my wife Erin, has arrived, and we’re looking forward to that.
“Thanks to the Collingwood Army for their fanaticism and voice. Thanks to the many teammates, coaches, friends and family who travelled with me over the years. Whatever I was able to do it was with your help.”
Pick eight in the 2006 draft, Reid was a premiership player at 21, playing in the Magpies’ 2010 grand final win, and earned All-Australian honours the next year.
But then his body started to let him down. Reid played just 59 games across the past seven seasons and only two this year.
His last AFL appearance was against Melbourne at the Gabba in round 12, on August 15.
“Reidy has been one of the most popular players in the Collingwood change rooms for almost 15 years which, I hope, is something he treasures as much as his fine career and all that he achieved,” Collingwood GM of football, Geoff Walsh, said.
“We will miss him. He is a good one.”