THE WESTERN Bulldogs have said goodbye to one of their most loyal servants, with premiership player Dale Morris hanging up the boots.

The 36-year-old key defender announced his retirement on Friday after 15 seasons and 253 games with the Bulldogs.

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Morris courageously fought his way back from two knee reconstructions, only to suffer a third ACL injury in round 19 this season.

"Everyone who knows me knows that if I could play footy forever, I would.  I just love the game so much," Morris told the club's website.

"But unfortunately, that's not possible for any footballer, and although it was a tough decision for me to make, the time has come for me to finish my playing career. 

"Since injuring my knee I’ve had some time to reflect with my wife Gem, my boys Riley and Charlie, my family and friends, and those closest to me at the club. 

"I'm at peace with the decision to retire and I’m looking forward to what life after playing will bring."

Morris played a key part in the Bulldogs' 2016 premiership run, famously playing the finals series despite breaking two vertebrae in his back in the final round of the home and away season.

He also was a member of the 2008 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian side.

"Dale is one of the most resilient and positive characters I’ve met in football, who has been an exceptional footballer for such a long period of time," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said.

"Everything Dale does has a selfless edge. 

"He always wants to make people around him better, and that’s a tremendous quality in such a competitive and demanding sport. 

"He is loved and admired by everyone at the Western Bulldogs for his incredible deeds on the football field and for the way he carries himself in everyday life."