Brent Harvey has confirmed his retirement from AFL football after a record 432 matches with North Melbourne.
Harvey was told in August he would not be offered a new contract at the club at the conclusion of the 2016 season, with some speculation the 38-year-old would look elsewhere to extend his career.
But at the Kangaroos’ best and fairest awards night on Friday, Harvey announced he was retiring from the game.
“I have wrestled with his decision since the day we were beaten by the Crows,” Harvey said.
“I think my footy is good enough to go on and the fact that I love my footy so much is why this has been such a tough decision.
“I would like to tell everyone in this room tonight that my decision not to pull on another team jumper is the reason why I’d like to announce my retirement from AFL footy.
“It’s been an amazing journey. I would have been extremely privileged to play one game for the North Melbourne Football Club, let alone play here for 21 years.
“I am extremely excited about my next phase of life with my family and can’t wait for my next challenges.”
Harvey broke the VFL/AFL match record in round 19 against St Kilda and played every fixture for the rest of the season, finishing in the elimination final loss to Adelaide in the first week of the finals.
He will retire a one-club player with 518 goals to his name.
His achievements include being a member of the Kangaroos’ 1999 premiership side and earning All Australian selection on four occasions (2000, 2005, 2007, 2008).
Harvey, who made his senior debut in 1996 against Richmond as a 18-year-old, won five Syd Barker Medals as the Kangaroos’ best and fairest, and was named a member of the club’s team of the century.
He captained the Kangaroos between 2009 and 2011, and played in 24 finals.