After 258 AFL games, a Brownlow Medal, three Collingwood best and fairest awards, five All-Australians, an AFLPA MVP award and a premiership medallion, Dane Swan has called it quits.
But before announcing to the world he was hanging up the boots, Swan acknowledged the beloved Magpie members in typical Swanny style.
“I once said that Collingwood couldn’t get rid of me. I joked about being an indestructible pest, a cockroach, capable of surviving anything life or the game could throw at me.
Football had been kind to me. Never easy and not always straightforward, but forgiving. It was an easy thing to say.
Playing football, for Collingwood, was fun and fun, as some of you may have gathered over the years, is a powerful motivation of mine.
The truth, of course, is that I am not indestructible and with a surgically repaired foot that aches with every step, I have played my last game.
The end has arrived.
But in retirement there is still something very true in what I said about staying at Collingwood.
It is the place that, in football terms, I have called home for the last 15 years, somewhere I will always feel I belong. That I can return to.
In a way, I will never leave Collingwood because I know Collingwood will never leave me.
Collingwood and the people who make it so special accepted me for who I am.
This acceptance, and occasional tolerance, allowed me to be the player I became.
It was a gift, from you, from everyone at Collingwood, I will always treasure.
You should know that whatever I was able to give back, whatever my career amounted to, I will always owe Collingwood. Owe its wonderful people, their passion and heart.
I wore our black and white stripes with pride, always feeling that you were equally proud to see me waddle out in number 36. We were good together.
Thanks for so many great times,