Renowned AFL player, Lance Franklin, has announced his retirement, effectively ending a remarkable 19-season career. Franklin's Indigenous heritage stems from his mother Ursula, a Whadjuk-Noongar woman. The decision came after suffering a calf injury during a recent match, which would have sidelined him for up to eight weeks. Franklin, often regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the game, shared the news with his Sydney teammates and subsequently posted an emotional message on Instagram, thanking everyone who has been part of his extraordinary journey.
Over the course of his career, Franklin left an indelible mark on the sport. He will be remembered as the fourth-leading goalkicker in VFL/AFL history, achieving the coveted 1000-goal milestone last year. His shining moment came in 2008 when he led the Hawthorn Hawks to a premiership victory, scoring an impressive 113 goals during the flag season, making him the most recent player to reach the 100-goal mark in a single season.
Franklin's transition to the Sydney Swans on a nine-year, $10 million deal was one of the most significant player switches in the game's history. He quickly became a hero in New South Wales, playing a crucial role in the Swans' Grand Final appearances in 2014, 2016, and 2022. Throughout his illustrious career, Franklin earned multiple accolades, including seven-time Sydney leading goalkicker, six-time leading goalkicker at Hawthorn, and eight-time All-Australian, with the honor of being named captain in 2018.
Despite being absent from the media conference where his retirement was confirmed, Franklin's impact on the AFL and the broader community remains undeniable. Swans CEO Tom Harley praised Franklin's legendary status and the joy he brought to fans over the years. With 354 games and 1066 goals to his name, Franklin leaves behind a legacy that will be cherished by football enthusiasts for generations to come.
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Photo Courtesy AFL