Bad knee forces Crows' McLeod to retire - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bad knee forces Crows' McLeod to retire

By Steve Larkin 23/08/2010 06:18:38 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide champion Andrew McLeod has finally buckled to a "stuffed" knee, ending one of the AFL's most brilliant careers.

The 34-year-old on Monday conceded his damaged right knee had won their ongoing battle.

"I didn't think it would, but the old knee got me in the end," McLeod said.

"I thought I had it bluffed, but it's too good."

McLeod was described by his coach Neil Craig as "an all time great, not only in our footy club but in the AFL".

The five time All Australian and triple club champion said his coach also used a toothpaste analogy.

"He said that I had rolled it up, and sucked it out, and got as much as I could out of it - that is what I have done with my knee," McLeod said.

Knee replacement looms in McLeod's longer term outlook, a fact he's known, and played with, for years.

"To put it bluntly, it's stuffed," McLeod said.

"It's no secret it hasn't been right for probably six or seven years.

"It's the price you pay for playing footy.

"Most older retired footballers have got some sort of niggle that they have to deal with, and I guess it's a great reminder to have a little war wound to trigger a few memories."

McLeod's memories include best on ground Norm Smith medals in Adelaide's two premierships, 1997 and 1998.

For good measure, he also won the best afield gong when the Crows won a pre-season premiership.

McLeod retired as Adelaide's games record holder with 340 matches, universally respected and revered by the indigenous community.

"Who would have thought a snotty nosed young boy from the Territory could make a half decent career from the game he loved to play," he said.

"... It's nice to be seen as a strong leader amongst my people," he said while also thanking family and "the rest of my mob back home".

While "you can't go past" the two flags, McLeod rated indigenous honours among his most treasured.

"Being part of the indigenous team of the century, playing for the Aboriginal All Stars is something that I hold very high in regards to what I have been able to achieve," he said.

McLeod resisted an urge for a farewell game in Adelaide against St Kilda on Saturday, knowing his knee was "a pretty big risk and not one I am prepared to take".

Instead, he will farewell the AFL on the back of a ute with fellow Crow stalwarts who won't play again - captain Simon Goodwin and Brett Burton.

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