CHRIS Judd has been honoured for his on and off-field contribution to the game with the West Coast and Carlton champion awarded this year's Madden Medal.
The medal, which recognises a player's contribution to football, family, personal development and the community, was awarded in Melbourne at the Roaring Forties Club Post Grand Final lunch on Friday.
Judd is currently holidaying with his family and didn't attend the event at the Sofitel hotel, but said in a video message it was a "tremendous honour" to be recognised for all aspects of his playing career.
"The most valuable things I've taken away from my footy career are the friendships and probably the lessons I've learnt throughout 14 years in the industry, and a lot of those lessons can be applied to all sorts of areas of your life," Judd said.
"I've been lucky to meet a huge number of really interesting and great people at two wonderful footy clubs."
On field, Judd's resume writes itself.
The 279-game midfielder won the Brownlow medal in 2004 and 2010, the AFLPA MVP in 2006 and 2011, and captained the Eagles' 2006 premiership.
But away from football, the 32-year-old also achieved a great deal in the 14 years since he was drafted with pick No.3 overall in the 2001 NAB AFL Draft.
He created 'G3 Events' – a corporate hospitality solutions company – was part of the Mirabel Foundation from 2009-12, and was an ambassador for YGAP, Stand up Events, and Visy Environment.
He said he was looking forward to the next stage of his life now his days as a player were over.
"I think I was always interested in other things outside of footy," he said.
"I'm a couple of months into a job outside the footy sector and I'm really enjoying mixing with a different group of people that have new ideas, and being able to learn lots of things, too, is something I’ve really enjoyed.
"To be driving around with two young kids now just makes you realise that a lot has happened in that time, and sitting next to them you can't help but feel there's a lot to look forward to as well.
"Being in retirement mode, or retirement from football at least, opens up a lot of opportunities and chances to do some things you weren't able to do throughout your football career, so there's some exciting bits to being retired as well."
The winner of the Madden medal is voted on by the board of the AFLPA, as well as past medal recipients.
Judd edged out fellow retirees Daniel Cross and Luke McPharlin in the top three, and other nominees Dustin Fletcher, Paul Chapman, Kane Cornes and Chris Newman.
Past winners include Lenny Hayes, Jude Bolton, Luke Power, Brett Kirk, Robert Harvey and Cameron Ling, who hosted the event.