THREE-time premiership Richmond player Kane Lambert has retired, effective immediately.

The hard-running half-forward has been dealing with a chronic hip injury, limiting him to seven games this year.

Having been overlooked in six years' worth of drafts, Lambert was selected with pick No.46 in the 2015 rookie draft after several strong years at VFL level.

He finished second in Richmond's 2018 best and fairest and third in their premiership count of 2017, and retires with 135 games to his name.

Kane Lambert (left) and Shai Bolton celebrate during round 14, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"My purpose has been to prove people right, the people that cared for me and gave me their time and effort," Lambert said.

"I am so fortunate to be able to thank those people.

"It is not what you win, it is who you win it with, and it has been an absolute pleasure to share this journey with all our players, staff and members both past and present."

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After being overlooked in his 18th year, Lambert took the following season off football, working in a factory and hitting the gym, creating a 12-month pre-season for himself and adding 10kg to his small frame.

After stints at the Northern Blues and Williamstown, Lambert was tailor-made for Richmond's manic premiership game-plan, which turned the AFL on its head in 2017.

His endurance was second to none, and his ability to link the midfield and forward line has proven to be difficult to replace this year.

He also had an uncanny knack of kicking fourth-quarter goals just when they were required.

Trent Cotchin (left) and Kane Lambert celebrate winning the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

"What Kane has given us since he arrived at the footy club can never be repaid, but it can be learned," coach Damien Hardwick said.

"Dedication, resilience and all the things we talk about needed to get the best out of yourself, this man has done it.

"The way he played the game; we changed things based around him and how Lambert would do it. Watching him on the field is like a masterclass for an AFL coach.

"Kane has given us success, but he has also given us some of the off-field stuff that is going to last a long time."

Lambert is the seventh 2017 premiership player to have retired, following Alex Rance, Bachar Houli, David Astbury, Jacob Townsend, Josh Caddy and Shaun Grigg, while Brandon Ellis and Dan Butler are playing elsewhere.