WESTERN Bulldogs forward Sam Lloyd - a player best known for his after-the-siren heroics for Richmond in 2016 - has retired from the AFL.

Despite having a year to run on his contract, Lloyd, 30, made the surprise announcement on Tuesday.

It follows a season marred by injury and surgery that started when he broke his collarbone during the Bulldogs' round four clash with Sydney in June. 

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He was nudged by Aliir Aliir when competing for a groundball and injured himself as he hit the deck (watch below).

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Double Dog blow as another goes down

The Bulldogs lose another forward as Sam Lloyd lands awkwardly on his shoulder

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Lloyd returned in round nine but only managed another five games for the season. He was last seen in the Dogs' thrilling win over West Coast in round 16 where he snagged a goal and had 12 disposals.

Lloyd joined the Bulldogs at the end of 2018 after playing 57 games for Richmond. He was taken by the Tigers with pick No.66 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft.

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He kicked a career-best 38 goals in his first season at Whitten Oval to be the club's leading goalkicker. But he will be forever remembered by Richmond fans for that kick against Sydney (watch in the player below) that sealed a thriller for the Tigers back in 2016.

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Remember this? When Sam Lloyd was toast of Tigerland

Relive Sam Lloyd's after-the-siren sealer against Sydney in 2016

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Lloyd booted 35 goals in 22 games for Richmond that year, but fell out of favour the following season and missed out on the club's breakthrough premiership. He was, however, best-on-ground in the club's VFL Grand Final defeat of 2017.

"I've thought long and hard about this decision over the last few weeks and months, and have come to the realisation that the time is right for me to hang up the boots," Lloyd said.

A dejected Sam Lloyd receives his best-on-ground medal after the 2017 VFL Grand Final between Port Melbourne and Richmond at Marvel Stadium. Picture: AFL Photos

"I have a chance to pursue some exciting business opportunities outside of the football industry, and I'm keen to take on a different challenge.

"Playing AFL has been an amazing experience, and I'm proud of what I've achieved on the field. My journey wasn't conventional, but I'm just honoured to have played at the highest level."

"I'm extremely grateful to have represented two great clubs, who have given me the chance to live out a boyhood dream."