Commentary icon Bruce McAvaney has called his last AFL game, announcing his retirement from Channel Seven’s football coverage.
Apart from a five-year absence between 2002 and 2006 when Seven lost the TV rights, McAvaney has been at the front of the AFL’s free-to-air coverage.
He has been behind the microphone for more than 1000 games, including 20 AFL grand finals, and formed a special partnership with Dennis Cometti.
“I felt like I got to a stage in my career where I had to reduce my workload,” the 67-year-old told Seven News.
“I’m going to miss it enormously, I just visualise when Richmond and Carlton run out there in round one, and the ball is bounced, I’m going to climb a wall somewhere.
“I’m going to have to move on and just be a fan like everybody else.”
– Bruce McAvaney pic.twitter.com/6GxNehHBqU
— 7AFL (@7AFL) February 28, 2021
McAvaney bows out of football coverage on the eve of the 2021 season, but will continue on TV in other roles.
The versatile McAvaney will lead the network’s horse racing productions and be involved in this year’s Tokyo Olympics in July, where he shines in track-and-field coverage.
Despite battling leukaemia since 2017, McAvaney stressed his decision to step away from the AFL commentary was not health-related.
“I’m certainly not anything close to retirement. It’s just a new phase, where I cut back slightly,” he said.
“Anything I’m asked to do now I’m going to do with the same enthusiasm and same commitment.”