WESTERN Bulldog Josh Bruce has announced his retirement on Tuesday, effective immediately.
The versatile former Saint and Giant played eight games this year to bring his career tally to 163 across 13 seasons at three clubs, but had been sidelined with a knee injury since facing GWS in round 20.
That match was his 50th as a Bulldog after 14 at Greater Western Sydney and 99 at St Kilda where he kicked 50 goals in 2015.
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Bruce was the Dogs' leading goalkicker in 2021 with 48 for the season, before being moved into a defensive role as Luke Beveridge's forward line became stacked with talls Aaron Naughton, Jamara Ugle-Hagan and then Rory Lobb this year.
"I moved out of home at 17 to Sydney as a skinny, hyperactive little kid and I'm finishing here as a not-so-skinny, still hyperactive grown man, with two beautiful kids," Bruce told the Bulldogs website on Tuesday.
"I can rest my head on the pillow knowing that every grueling pre-season session, every rehab session and every game at three clubs, I gave my absolute everything.
"The move to the Bulldogs has been one of the most defining moments of my life. I've got so many connections through Rohan Smith coaching me at U16's level, living with Stewart Edge in my first year at GWS and time spent with Ameet Bains at St Kilda.
"It's fitting to finish up here and I look forward to exploring some coaching opportunities into the future."
Beveridge praised Bruce for his time at the Whitten Oval since crossing from Moorabbin at the end of 2019.
"Josh is an outstanding team man and we've been fortunate to have him represent the Bulldogs for the past four seasons," Beveridge said.
"Despite facing his fair share of adversity, Josh entered the building every day with the same sense of energy and enthusiasm which lifted the playing group and staff around him.
"Josh is a much-loved figure. He should be proud of his time with us, and of everything he achieved in his career which spanned 13 years."