Veteran Richmond midfielder Nathan Foley has announced his retirement from league football, effective immediately.
Foley, who turns 30 in September, told the Tigers’ playing group on Thursday morning that he had decided to retire due to a degenerative knee.
He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery back in May, but has been unable to overcome the problem and return to the playing field, despite being typically diligent throughout his rehabilitation.
“Pulling on the Richmond jumper to run out and play is a feeling that I’ll never forget, and something that I’m very grateful for.” – Nathan foley
The knee complaint is the latest in a long line of injuries that have severely hampered Foley in recent years.
He was, however, able to play 18 senior games in 2014, which was his best return in a season for three years.
Foley’s last game was in Richmond’s 2014 elimination final loss to Port Adelaide.
“It’s been a huge honour to represent this club and something that I’m very proud of,” Foley said.
“Pulling on the Richmond jumper to run out and play is a feeling that I’ll never forget, and something that I’m very grateful for.
“I’ve absolutely loved my time here and consider myself lucky to have been around the Club for so long.
“And, while injuries have caught up with me, I’m comfortable with the fact that I’ve always exhausted everything possible to get the most out of myself.
“It’s been ridiculously hard at times, but more so unbelievably rewarding.”
Foley, who finished his league career on 154 games, is one of the great success stories of the AFL’s rookie draft system.
He was selected by the Tigers with their first pick (No. 4 overall) in the 2004 rookie draft.