RICHMOND'S reigning club champion Dan Jackson has announced his immediate retirement because his "body hasn’t got any fight left".
Jackson was named in the Tigers' 25-man squad to face Port Adelaide in Sunday's elimination final, but told his teammates on Friday morning that he was bowing out of football due to injury.
He wrote an open letter to supporters explaining his decision, and said he had spent this week doing everything possible to convince himself he was capable of performing in the Tigers' finals series. 
However, after 11 seasons of "scrapping and grinding", Jackson said his body wasn't capable of meeting the demands of finals football. 
"It is with this in mind that I have decided it would be best for myself, and for our footy club, that I retire," Jackson said.
"I didn’t want to leave myself in a position where I spent my final time as a footballer not being able to perform to a level that I’d expect of myself and, more importantly, to a level that the footy club needs from me."
Jackson said his decision was made more difficult knowing he had a contract for 2015 and the opportunity to be part of "something great for our proud club".  
Richmond football manager football Dan Richardson said the club wasn't shocked by the decision given Jackson's injury battles this season. 
The 28-year-old was restricted to just 10 games after an interrupted pre-season, suffering hip, glute and lower back injuries during the year.
"We've been aware of his challenges this year trying to get his body right, obviously there's physical and also mental challenges with that," Richardson said. 
"So we weren't shocked by the decision, but in the end obviously that got the better of him and he's made a decision that it's all over for him.
"After a great year last year winning the Jack Dyer Medal, obviously Dan was hoping to repeat that, but injuries have got the better of him this year.
"In the end he's made a really selfless decision. He wasn't confident in his body – not only next year – but even right now."
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick and Richardson unsuccessfully tried to convince Jackson to see out the season.
"Certainly we both tried to do that but you could see in his eyes that he was comfortable with the call and in the end that's all you can do (is) respect that," Richardson said.
Richardson hoped Jackson's emotional farewell would have a positive impact on the playing group ahead of the Power clash.
"I think in many ways the impact will be positive in a sense because it's a reminder for us all that footy doesn't last forever and you've got to take your opportunities when they're in front of you," he said.
"There was some emotion in the room, I have no doubt about that, but the players have been around a bit and understand these situations happen in footy.
"Dan was certainly really emotional but as far as the playing group is concerned the timing and the announcement is about making sure that we're able to focus on this weekend."

Only last week, Hardwick was talking about the midfielder as a potential wildcard in the finals for the Tigers.
"If we go further he's an important player for us," Hardwick said last Thursday.

"He is the sort of player that for mine is a finals type player – he's hard, he's tough and he wins his own contested ball."

After contemplating retirement at the end of 2012, Jackson produced some career best football last season and played every game to win the Tigers' best and fairest.

Hardwick said the 28-year-old's 2014 season had been disappointing "from an output point of view" after a poor preparation. 

"He's had a horrible run with injury, he didn't have a preseason," the coach said.

Jackson's place in the squad to face the Power was taken by Ben Lennon, with the final 22 to be named later on Friday.
Richardson lauded Jackson as a great clubman and "a great role model for the game", whose community and AFL Players' Association work would hold him in good stead for life after football.