WESTERN Bulldogs key forward Jack Redpath has announced his retirement due to a degenerative knee injury.
The 27-year-old was contracted for 2019, but after the Bulldogs' final game of the season, coach Luke Beveridge said Redpath was a chance to hang up the boots due to injury, rather than falling out of love with the club as a report had suggested.
Redpath played 36 games and kicked 57 goals after being selected with pick 62 in the 2012 NAB AFL Rookie Draft from Kyneton in country Victoria.
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His final game came in round four of this year, before issues with his knee sidelined him for the rest of the year.
"It's been well and truly the hardest decision I've ever made in my life," Redpath told the club's website.
"It's probably been coming for a little bit. My knee has never really got back to where it should be to play AFL footy.
"I want to thank the club massively for how they've been through this period. I was told on countless occasions to take my time and make sure it's the right decision.
"By the time I spoke to family and close friends, the coaches and the staff who I'm extremely close with, I'm one hundred per cent sure it's the right decision for me."
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Beveridge said it was sad to see Redpath, who played in the 2014 VFL premiership with Footscray, finish his career in such a manner.
"Jack is a much-loved and admired teammate and club person. He has been a fine example for others to follow and we'll miss his influence around the place," Beveridge said.
"We all admire him for fighting through the many setbacks he faced with his body during his career and his determination to overcome adversity to be there for his teammates.
"It's very unfortunate that we weren't able to see the best of Jack on a consistent basis, because he had the ability to be one of the dominant forwards in the competition.
"We wish Jack all the best for the next phase of his life, and we look forward to maintaining our friendships with him and supporting him in his future endeavours."