FOR 17 years, Eddie Betts has been the most universally loved, respected and appreciated player in the game.
On Saturday night, Betts will bring an end to a remarkable career that has included 350 games, 638 goals, three Therabody AFL All-Australian blazers and four truly incredible Goal of the Year victories.
It's a career that has provided the entire football community with unforgettable and inspiring memories and recollections.
To celebrate one of the game's all-time greats, AFL.com.au asked some of Betts' past and present teammates, opponents, coaches and friends a simple question. What is your favourite Eddie moment?
Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong midfielder, teammate at the Crows for two seasons)
"The game was against Hawthorn and it was pretty tight, I think it was either late in the second quarter or it might have even been the third quarter. Andy Otten marks the ball in the pocket and he hands the ball to Eddie, who is standing up against the boundary line and in a position where you would never, ever give the ball to someone at any stage. Except if it's Eddie Betts. Eddie right-foot checksides it right through the middle and the Crows are in front. It was just extraordinary."
Brett Ratten (Carlton coach for six seasons, opposition coach for three seasons)
"Having coached Eddie, he kicked one of the great goals I've ever seen. It was in that game when Andrew Walker took that mark over Jake Carlisle at the MCG against Essendon. In the same game, you've probably got the Mark of the Year and the Goal of the Year. Eddie Betts kicks an amazing goal from the pocket, where he eludes two or three players and somehow finds a way to get it through the goals. But it's not just one. You could sit there for three hours just watching all of these unbelievable goals. Some players are trying to kick one of those for their career, and he just does it. Everyone asks whether it was a fluke, but he's like Peter Daicos. These players are so skilled and it's a trend in their game. He can do anything with the ball. The thing about Eddie is that it's not just him as a footballer. He's a fantastic person and a great father. It's all about the person with Eddie. He's a tremendous player, but he's an even better person."
Charlie Cameron (Brisbane forward, teammate at the Crows for four seasons)
"What he's done for my career, in the four years at Adelaide, he's helped me to be the player I am right now. He brought me in when I was first drafted and, learning off him and living with him, to see what he does on the field and off the field … it's truly amazing. With him fighting to stop racism, it's huge. There's no better person than Eddie Betts at the moment. He's a special person. When he said that all he wanted to do was put a smile on people's faces, I'm pretty sure he's done that for 17 years. He's done a lot for the AFL, for myself and for young Indigenous kids as well. He's played a huge part in my life."
Rory Sloane (Adelaide captain, teammate at the Crows for six seasons)
"Of course, I have loved all of his Goals of the Year. But my favourite Eddie moment was in Ben Rutten's last game in round 23, 2014. Before the game he said to 'Truck': 'If I mark it inside 50m, run past me and I'll get you the handball'. Sure enough, Truck came jogging down from full-back, Eddie gave him the ball and he kicked the goal. It's one of my favourite footy memories."
Anthony Koutoufides (Former Carlton captain, teammate for three seasons)
"It was more when he first came to Carlton and he was kicking the goals from the boundary line in training. I thought, 'here we go … there's a bit of luck there'. But after a little bit of time, I realised this wasn't luck. This guy had some sort of special ability to be able to kick goals from any part of the ground. That's what really hit home with me. I also know how hard he worked to get himself down to being match fit. He came a little chubby, but by the end he'd stripped himself down and worked extremely hard to do that. He showed his true commitment to the game through that."
Gillon McLachlan (AFL CEO)
"Eddie's impact on our game, both on and off the field, has been remarkable. Over his time at Carlton and Adelaide, Eddie has captured the hearts of all football fans and has built a legacy as one of the champions of our game. While his on-field accolades are significant, the dedication and commitment he has shown to the fight against racism in our game, and community more broadly, will leave a lasting effect on the football community. To play one AFL game is impressive, to play 350 is nothing short of incredible. On behalf of the AFL, I congratulate Eddie on an outstanding career and I look forward to watching him run out one last time this Saturday night."
Shane O'Sullivan (Former Carlton recruiting manager)
"The thing I am the proudest of is seeing what he has done off the footy field. For someone who struggled to read and write when he arrived, to where he has got himself now. He went out to my wife's school and spoke to all of the primary school kids, making sure that they work hard to learn how to read and write. His family, five children, a beautiful wife Anna … that's what I'm most proud of him for."
Mitch Robinson (Brisbane midfielder, teammate at the Blues for five seasons)
"I wasn't playing, but my favourite moment was probably his 300th. Me and Charlie Cameron flew to Adelaide during a bye week to watch him. We were a bit nervous for him, but he ended up kicking six goals. We had a pretty good moment after the game when we all got photos with him, then we went to the function afterwards with all of his loved ones and his friends and family. That was the most memorable moment, in terms of seeing how much he means to a lot of people. That was one of those moments where you think … shit, this guy has touched a lot of people on his way. But even at Carlton, when I first met him and Chris Yarran and Jeff Garlett … the bond they had, and they let me into their circle. I ended up moving in with Eddie and it was just amazing to see how much he gives back to everybody. Some players would come out of training and leave straight away, but Eddie would stay afterwards and hang out with the fans. What he gives back to every supporter, I still think it's way too much. But he will literally be the last guy off the track, giving back to the fans. He's just one of those guys."
David Teague (Carlton coach for two seasons, Adelaide assistant for three seasons)
"To be honest, the stuff he does on the field is the exciting bit. But it's who he is off the field that is my favourite bit about Eddie. He is such a caring, genuine, honest person. He'll do anything to make the people around him better. You talk about learning and educating, he's as good as anyone. Even to hear the way the young small forwards are talking about what he's done for them, it's who he is. That's what you love. Just spend time with him and you'll feel better. His smile is infectious. He's been great for the game and he still will be. I've got no doubt he'll still be appearing, helping and educating a lot of people in the next part of his life."
Nic Naitanui (West Coast ruckman, opponent for 13 seasons)
"Early parts of my career, Eddie was the ringleader of the 'Three Amigos' with Chris Yarran, Jeff Garlett and himself. Those three in the forward line just lit up grounds across the country. As much as I loved watching it, I didn't like seeing it up close when we were exposing our backline. There were so many memorable moments from Eddie. I wish him all the best with his future endeavours. Keep writing those little storybooks, mate, I'll keep competing against you."
Mitch McGovern (Carlton forward, teammate at the Blues and Crows for five seasons)
"My favourite part about playing with Eddie was the aura that he had on the field and the sense of connection he had with every crowd that he played in front of. My biggest association I have with Eddie to footy is the joy that he brought to so many people, including myself."
Josh Jenkins (Geelong forward, teammate at the Crows for six seasons)
"Little Edward makes the game easy for his teammates and that's the thing I love about him most. Every time I played with him, my job was made easier. He's unselfish and he plays the game with such joy, passion and energy. You couldn't help but just pinch a bit of his smile and play the game in his manner. I loved playing alongside little Eddie. Even in the massive games we played in, finals and Showdowns, he still played the game the same way with a big smile. You couldn't help but be drawn into that and play the game the same way. I had a great time with the little man, he gave me plenty of goals and it was a true joy to watch the best small forward to ever play the game."
Craig Bradley (Carlton premiership legend)
"It's the goals, obviously. He has got a fair bag of tricks on him. I think when you do the match highlights for Eddie's career, it would be pretty amazing to watch his collection of goals. There are only a certain few players that can do the tricks that he does. I think that's part of our game that gets lost sometimes because we're so technical now in our strategies. There are no more torpedoes, we've got to kick short, we can't turn it over. To see someone master the skill of checksiding and kicking it around corners, it doesn't happen too often these days. He's just an amazing player."
Eddie Betts (350 games for Carlton and Adelaide across 17 seasons)
"I always ask my son, he normally tells me which one. I'd have to say my goal against GWS that won Goal of the Year at the Adelaide Oval in 2016. What was so special about that is that my dad's sister, Susie Betts, designed the jersey we were wearing. It was from the far west coast of South Australia in Port Lincoln. They got her over, my grandmother over, my dad over from Port Lincoln and set them up in a box. To kick that goal on Sir Doug Nicholls Round and to win Goal of the Year, it was unbelievable. That would be my best."