FORMER St Kilda and Essendon star Brendon Goddard has officially announced his retirement from the AFL.
A day after the announcement, the Bombers said Goddard would be awarded life membership of the club at its AGM on December 17.
The 33-year-old confirmed his retirement on social media on Thursday night after celebrating his illustrious career with friends and family at the Cathedral Lodge and Golf Club, owned by former Essendon president David Evans.
Goddard was undecided whether he wanted to play on at the end of the season and was yet to find a new club as a delisted free agent.
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"I feel very privileged and honoured to have played at two great football clubs in Essendon and St Kilda," Goddard wrote on Instagram.
"I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my life with my extraordinary wife and our two little angels."
View this post on Instagram
I feel very privileged and honoured to have played at two great football clubs in @essendonfc and @stkildafc Last night I was fortunate enough to celebrate my retirement @Cathedrallodge , a very special place for me and my family, with a group of footy people (now lifelong friends) who have supported me along the way. Thanks to @davidevans___ @sonnyrevans @au_tla and @essendonfc for organising it and allowing me to recognise and thank you all for the friendship and support you’ve given Rosie, Billie, Mackenzie and I. I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life with my extraordinary wife @rosielgoddard and our 2 little angels! And a big thank you to Mum, Dad, Michelle, Beau, Laura and Claire for their continued love and support during this journey.....Also my extended family and close friends, you all know who you are Much love x
Among the guests at Goddard's retirement celebration on Wednesday night were Essendon coach John Worsfold, former Bombers captain Jobe Watson, gun midfielder Zach Merrett, ex-Bomber teammates Tom Bellchambers, Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley, and his long-time former Saints colleague Leigh Montagna.
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He said the news of his life membership of Essendon came as a surprise.
"It’s not something you'd expect or ever think about, particularly because life memberships are given through contribution and categories qualified for," he told the Essendon website on Friday.
"I didn't even know the rule existed that under unique circumstances they can make that decision, so it was something that never crossed my mind. I'm extremely honoured and privileged and, to be honest, I was a bit taken aback."
Goddard played 334 games across 16 seasons after being taken by the Saints with the No.1 overall pick in the 2002 national draft.
He played 205 games for the Saints before leaving the club at the end of 2012 to join the Bombers as one of the first players to be signed under new free agency rules.
Goddard played 129 games in his six seasons with the Bombers before not being offered a contract for next season.
Goddard finishes his career as a two-time All Australian in 2009 and 2010, an Essendon best and fairest in 2013 and he captained the Bombers in 2016.
Goddard also represented Australia six times in International Rules series games against Ireland, most recently last year.