Just after Brisbane's Semi-final loss to GWS, Hawthorn and GWS star Luke Hodge announced his retirement. He refused to be "chaired" off by teammates. Coach Chris Fagan confined the announcement at the post-game press conference, saying, "Hodgey's finished ... I wanted him to come (to the media conference), but that's not his way. He just wants to walk away quietly. He's hung them up, the old fella ... ". Fagan added that Hodge would remain with the club in an off-field role which is yet to be determined. Fagan added that he had an inkling of Hodge's retirement but never asked directly with the brief conversation going "...I said 'is that it?' and he said 'yep, that's it', so that's it.”
Fagan also paid tribute to Hodge's influence in the young team, which shot from 15th up to 2nd in one season before their losing both finals matches. "More than anything, he's a good friend. He's a bit of a rascal, but mostly he's good ... the best leader I've seen, one of the toughest players I've seen, he's a warrior ... a really intelligent player, he sees the game as well as anyone ... probably Sam Mitchell is his only equal. He's a giver of his time and knowledge ... there's no doubt the development of our team has been accelerated by his presence ... he's one of the all-time greats. More than anything, he's a good friend.” Fagan said Hodge had done a lot of work to prepare the young leaders in the team, working with the leadership group and younger players.
General Manager David Noble echoed Fagan's sentiments, praising Hodge's commitment and passion during the past two seasons: "Luke has been a magnificent leader ... on and off the field. He is a man of action and has led by example."
Hodge, 35, was the last of the top three selections in, what has become known as, the 2001 "superdraft", the other two being Chris Judd and Luke Ball. He played 305 games with Hawthorn before announcing his retirement at the end of 2017. However, he was lured out of retirement by Fagan, who had been an assistant coach with Hawthorn during their premiership years so the pair go back a fair way. Hodge played 41 games for the Lions.
Hawthorn best and fairest 2005, 2010
Rising Star nominee 2002
All-Australian 2005, 2008, 2010 (captain)
International Rules 2005, 2014, 2015
Jim Stynes Medal 2014 (best at International Rules match)
Hawthorn premierships 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015
Norm Smith Medal 2008 and 2014 (best on ground in Grand Final)
Hawthorn captain 2011-2016
Source: news.com.au, lions.com.au, AFL Record Season Guide
Article last changed on Monday, September 23, 2019 - 11:12 AM EDT