RETIRING St Kilda champion Lenny Hayes has become the AFL's most prolific tackler, breaking former Sydney Swan Jude Bolton's record in his 297th and final game.

Hayes needed eight tackles ahead of the Saints' clash against Adelaide on Sunday to break Bolton's record of 1490 tackles.

The three-time All Australian and three-time St Kilda best and fairest overtook Bolton early in the third quarter.

He finished with 13 tackles for the match, taking his career tally to 1496.

Season 2014 will be Hayes' last in the AFL after he announced his retirement in July.

Most career tackles

PlayerTeamGamesTacklesAvg per game
Lenny HayesSTK29614965.05
Jude BoltonSYD32514904.58
Simon BlackBL32212833.98
Brett KirkSYD24112785.30
Tony LiberatoreWB27912254.39

Hayes said the record itself didn't mean a great deal to him but that he had prided himself on his tackling ferocity throughout his 16-season career.
"I've always valued that and the position I play gives me an opportunity to make those sorts of tackles," Hayes said.
"I've always placed a pretty high emphasis on it, being an inside mid.
"It's something I might look back on and tell my son one day that I used to go all right."
The 34-year-old said he hadn't finalised any plans for the next stage in his life but that he was keen to stay in football.
He said there was an option to remain employed by the Saints and that he'd likely make a decision within the next month.
"I'll have to head down to Centrelink on Monday and sign up," he joked.
"I said all along that I wouldn't mind getting to the end of the season and then over probably the next two or three weeks I'll make a decision.
"I'd love to stay involved in the game in some capacity - we'll wait and see.
"[St Kilda has] been absolutely sensational in putting something forward to me and like I have said, I just needed to wait until the end of the season and get all my ducks in a row and then make a decision from there."
Twitter: @AFL_Harry