A HAMSTRING injury in the VFL was the final straw for Tom Williams, with the luckless Western Bulldogs defender announcing his retirement on Wednesday.
Williams, who has endured a horror injury run through his 10-year career at the club, decided to retire effective immediately after suffering the strain on Sunday.
After 85 games, the 27-year-old told the coaches of his decision on Monday and then informed his teammates on Tuesday.
"I feel very fortunate to have spent my time in the AFL at the Western Bulldogs and with so many great people and memories," Williams said.
"I am proud of my career, and although it was met with some frustrating periods with injury, I can take away countless positives.
"I thank the club, my teammates and our supporters for their patience and support over the years and I look forward to seeing the exciting future of the Western Bulldogs unfold."
Coach Brendan McCartney said the defender's motivation had been waning after battling through calf and Achilles injuries this season, and had lost confidence in his body.
"He was [very emotional]," McCartney said on Wednesday.
"Leaving club land when you've been there a long time does leave a bit of a void because you're here one day and the next you're handing in your swipe card and you're gone.
"He'll always be a Bulldog, he'll always be one of us and be welcomed back but it is quite sudden the exit once you decide that's it.
"It's a decision made by a brave young man whose body failed him and now it's time to move on to something else in his life."
Athletic, quick and talented, Williams was selected with pick six at the 2004 NAB AFL draft after being recruited from Morningside, Queensland.
But a string of shocking injuries, including foot, leg and shoulder issues, limited his progress, with his most consistent season coming in 2010 when he played 23 games, including three finals.
"Tom when he was fit and well was a very good AFL player," McCartney said.
"His best is very capable and unfortunately what you do need in this industry is consistency and be able to train and play all the time, that's how your game grows, and he hasn't been able to do that.
"He's a good person and got a good head on his shoulders, he'll be fine."