A degenerative ankle injury has forced Carlton midfielder Heath Scotland to end his AFL career.
Scotland had been placed on the Blues’ long-term injury list for the rest of the year, with the 33-year-old confirming he was retiring after 268 games spread across 16 seasons and two clubs.
Scotland read from a statement on Tuesday, thanking a range of figures at Collingwood and Carlton, friends and teammates before he broke down in tears when it came to wife Alisha.
“There’s one person who has probably invested more emotionally and mentally in my career to help me succeed and achieve – it’s Alisha,” Scotland said on Tuesday.
“She’s been there from the day I was drafted until now.
“Sixteen years has gone in a blink of an eye.”
Scotland has undergone ankle surgery twice in the past two years and says he is now “struggling to get up and down stairs”.
“I pride myself on being a hard worker and hard trainer – my body was giving me the signs (it was time to retire),” he said.
Scotland’s wife and two children were on hand for the announcement, as were the Blues’ current squad, president Stephen Kernahan and coach Mick Malthouse.
Scotland spoke of coaching aspirations at the media conference and said he wanted to remain actively involved at Carlton for the rest of the season.