ONE OF the most influential players in Gold Coast's history has retired, with Jarrod Harbrow calling time on his career after a club-record 191 games.
Harbrow was one of eight uncontracted players originally signed by the fledgling Suns in 2010, and not only finishes with the games record and a best and fairest in 2018, but an off-field legacy that goes far beyond his playing deeds.
The 33-year-old was recruited by the Western Bulldogs in the 2007 Rookie Draft, playing 70 games, including three preliminary finals, there before returning to his home state to join the start-up Suns.
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He arrived with Gary Ablett, Nathan Bock, Jared Brennan, Campbell Brown, Josh Fraser, Nathan Krakouer and Michael Rischitelli – and outlasted them all.
In fact, only David Swallow, Sam Day and Rory Thompson remain from when Harbrow arrived.
On the field, the boy from Cairns was a bolt of energy, a half-back that loved to run and bounce and dodge and weave and take the game on.
His journey was anything but easy, though.
He moved from Far North Queensland as a teenager to Mooroopna in country Victoria to develop his footy, playing TAC Cup for the Murray Bushrangers before the Dogs snapped him up as a rookie.
"I'll forever be grateful to the Western Bulldogs for giving me the opportunity," Harbrow told AFL.com.au.
"And the players that I learnt the game off, forever thankful to those senior players I played those four years with.
"They really shaped the person I am and the player I became."
Harbrow headed to the Suns as a 22-year-old to start a new adventure and be closer to his family.
He said in hindsight there were a lot of things that could have, and should have, been done better in the club's set-up, but it's not something he dwells on.
Harbrow was exciting. Even as the Suns struggled for much of his career, his demeanour never changed and you got the same from him every week.
Off the field he flourished, a senior figure, a sounding board, to so many of Gold Coast's Indigenous players over his career.
Along with brother Marc, he established Harbrow Mentoring, an organisation aimed at improving the life skills of young people through leadership, mentoring and sports programs.
"The more I got comfortable with my identity and where I sat within the football club, where I sat in the community in general, the more I found a voice, the more I grew as a person, as a leader," he said.
"I certainly felt that I had to represent the club, not just as a player, but as an Indigenous player. No doubt I felt like I had to look after any of the Indigenous players that came through the football club.
"Hopefully we've created a great environment for when I leave, boys and women can come to the football club and feel safe and love the football club. We've put a lot of work in to make it a culturally safe environment for them."
Harbrow said he would stay involved with Gold Coast in some capacity in retirement.
Although Ablett won a Brownlow Medal, four best and fairests and is undoubtedly the Suns' greatest player, and Tom Lynch not far behind with a Therabody AFL All-Australian jacket, it's hard to argue anyone has had a greater contribution than Harbrow on and off field.
"I think the honesty I had with myself, and the fear of letting my teammates down, that's what drove me, day in day out.
"I didn't want to be that teammate that let anyone down, I didn't want to be that weak link.
"That just drove me and inspired me to continue to train hard and try and get the absolute most out of myself.
"I just hope I made people proud, family proud, both footy clubs proud, members and supporters.
"I've just been really lucky. The game of AFL has given me the opportunity to live out a dream. It's helped me set up my family financially and it's given me a really good start in life."