COLLINGWOOD premiership defender Ben Reid has retired, with his selfless decision enabling one of his younger teammates to push for their spot ahead of next week's elimination final against West Coast.
Reid was due to fly to Perth on Friday as part of the club's match day squad for next Saturday night's clash at Optus Stadium, but informed his teammates that he would instead be calling time on his career after 152 games across 14 seasons.
A member of Collingwood's drought-breaking 2010 premiership side, Reid was then selected at centre-half back of the 2011 AFL All-Australian team the very next season.
However, a number of soft-tissue injury issues restricted his opportunities towards the end of his career, with a hamstring problem having kept him from the Magpies team since round 12.
"This year was going to be my last and I had a minor setback on Thursday, so rather than take a risk and go to Perth I thought it was better to let a younger player go, someone with their future ahead of them," Reid said.
"In a sense, I grew up at Collingwood and I’m just so thankful for all that I experienced, all that I learnt and the many great people I met.
WHO'S LEAVING? Your club's retirements and delistings
"It was just a wonderful time in my life that I wish could go on forever but, of course, it never can and my time has come. The next phase of my life, with my wife Erin, has arrived and we’re looking forward to that.
"Thanks to the Collingwood Army for their fanaticism and voice. Thanks to the many teammates, coaches, friends and family who travelled with me over the years. Whatever I was able to do, it was with your help."