Rabbitohs' Peachey retires from NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rabbitohs' Peachey retires from NRL

By Todd Balym 05/07/2007 08:27:00 PM Comments (0)

Souths fullback David Peachey will retire from the NRL at the end of 2007, but only after the Rabbitohs made it clear they would not be offering him a contract for next season.

Instead, Peachey will move into the next phase of his life with a fulltime role in the Souths Cares program and work in the indigenous community through his own David Peachey Foundation.

At 33 and after 255 NRL games with the Rabbitohs and Cronulla, Peachey said he'd taken a couple of weeks to be at peace with retiring but was happy he wasn't forced away due to injury.

"I would rather sit there saying I'm going rather than sit there and say I can't play anymore," said Peachey.

"I did not want this time to come.

"(But) I feel as though it is my time to move on.

"I want to go out on the right note.

"This decision has come about over the last four weeks, but it was just about making the right time for it."

Peachey has no regrets about his football career which includes 117 tries, one Super League Test for Australia, one NSW State of Origin appearance and Dally M fullback of the year award in 1999.

His stature in the game evident at Thursday's press conference, with former coach John Lang in attendance while letters from Prime Minister John Howard and former Test cricket captain Steve Waugh were read out.

However, the one accolade left for the ultimate clubman is an NRL premiership and he remains hopeful the 11th-placed Rabbitohs can conjure a miraculous surge to the grand final this year.

"I feel as though this can be a fairytale," he said.

"I'm looking forward to the football to come in the next 10 to 12 to 16 weeks and hope that comes in the back end of September and start of October.

"When you look at my rep career when I was at that performance level I got injury on top of injuries.

"It (injuries) just happened at the wrong time.

"I don't regret it, I had the opportunity to don the sky blue and had an opportunity to play alongside the likes of Joey Johns and Brad Fittler."

Peachey - who has long held his uncles Michael, Martin and Marshall as his footballing idols - said he wants to follow in their footsteps and continue playing club rugby league and eventually run out alongside his now 11-year-old son Wyndham.

"I feel as though I won't be retiring, I will just be retiring from the NRL," said Peachey.

"I want to finish playing football with Wyndham in eight or nine years down the track so that time will come.

"My football days will still continue but as far as top level is concerned that will be behind me hopefully come October 1.

"I will definitely be playing, I just don't know where it will be.

"My decision today is final."

Peachey is enthusiastic about his community work ahead, keen to link with Olympian Nova Peris on several indigenous pursuits while also promoting league in the bush.

"We want to take the bunny to the bush in as many areas as possible," said the Dubbo-born flyer before adding his own message to young footballers.

"Be smart, stay clean and live your dream."

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