Robert Harvey announces AFL retirement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Robert Harvey announces AFL retirement

By Guy Hand 06/08/2008 05:35:48 PM Comments (0)

After 21 years of AFL perpetual motion, St Kilda's Robert Harvey is coming to rest.

And Harvey hopes that can help propel the Saints' momentum towards the one thing missing in his decorated career - a premiership.

The dual Brownlow Medallist, who turns 37 later this month, announced he would retire when the Saints' season finished.

Ideally, Harvey hopes that will be deep in September as he attempts to better his remarkable list of individual accolades with the ultimate team one.

Harvey has played 376 games for the Saints since debuting in 1988, is an eight-time All-Australian and four-time club best and fairest.

His career highlights were his back-to-back Brownlow Medal wins in 1997 and 1998.

But the closest Harvey has got to a flag is St Kilda's 1997 grand final loss to Adelaide, and two defeats in preliminary finals.

Harvey reached his decision to quit at a meeting with Saints coach Ross Lyon last week - the pair believing the veteran midfielder's outstanding form this season provided the perfect backdrop for him to go out on top.

And it was Lyon who set the tone for what promises to be an emotional few weeks for the Saints as they prepare to farewell an ornament of the game, and ahead of their finals-shaping clash with Collingwood on Saturday night.

"We're driven, and it starts Saturday night against Collingwood," Lyon said.

"Robert stands equal with the greatest midfielders in the game. He has stood the test of time.

"Robert's still playing a high standard of football, he's probably in our top six in the best and fairest this year.

"But you don't want to push things until they break. He's in a position to go out on his own terms, playing good football."

Only three players have played more VFL/AFL matches than Harvey, and the Saints star is set to push past 378-game veteran Simon Madden in a fortnight into third place on the all-time games list.

Harvey admits he's come a long way since he joined the Saints - his local club - in 1988 as a schoolboy, and spent the first six months of his career being called "Rodney" by then-Saints skipper Danny Frawley.

But the helmeted hairstyle has barely changed since his debut that year.

Nor has the work ethic - teammates saying Harvey's hard-running and remarkable endurance came primarily from the dedication he put into training.

To Harvey, living the "train as you play" adage for 21 seasons means as much to him as anything he has achieved in the game.

When asked what he wanted to be remembered for, Harvey said: "Someone that consistently gave their best at training, and in games.

"Training was always important to me - to be seen as a good trainer.

"I'm very happy and honoured to have stretched my career out for as long as I did.

"It's the right time for the club, it's the right time for myself. I've had a great run."

Harvey said he was unsure what he would do following his retirement, aside from spend more time with wife Danielle and children Connor, Remy and Alyssa.

But he said he wanted to remain involved with football and his beloved Saints in some way.

"I'd like to (stay in football). You can't get away from the fact I'm going to miss footy.

"My passion hasn't wavered - I still love the game and always will."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news