live Infotainment Factory: Bulldogs premiership star announces retirement

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Thursday, 29 August 2019

Bulldogs premiership star announces retirement


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Much-respected Western Bulldogs veteran Dale Morris has played his last AFL game with the premiership defender announcing his retirement.

The 36-year-old's ability to play through pain became the stuff of AFL legend across his 253-game career, but a third serious knee injury in the past 18 months has proved to be the last straw.

The 2016 premiership hero ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in his first AFL match of the season, in round 19 against Fremantle at Marvel Stadium, and underwent a traditional knee reconstruction which generally requires 10 to 12 months recovery time.

"It turns out you can't play footy forever," an emotional Morris told a press conference at Whitten Oval on Friday.

"I was trying to.

"I said as a young guy coming through that I would keep playing footy until my legs dropped off and over the last couple of years my legs have literally tried to drop off.

"It was time to call it.

"I'm one of those people who feel like I could play footy forever but we've had some good discussions with Bevo and the footy club and the best decision is to retire."

Morris gave serious consideration to trying to coax another season or two out of his battered body, but will instead take up a coaching role at the club.

With his teammates gathered in the background, the versatile defender spoke fondly of his AFL debut against Adelaide in round five of the 2005 season.

Dale Morris and Tom Boyd with the 2016 AFL premiership trophy.

"It was Chris Grant's 300th game and my first," he said.

"It was unreal. I lined up on Mark Ricciuto, shook his hand and got an elbow to the guts and down I went ... 'Welcome to footy!'

"Then I got told I was tagging Andrew McLeod after quarter-time.

"It was a massive first game."

Luke Beveridge paid glowing tribute to Morris, who he said possessed all of the positive traits he could hope to see in his players.

"From a legacy viewpoint there are people who come into your world who you just want to be like and everyone in this room wants to be a little bit like Dale Morris," Beveridge said.

"And that's his legacy ... he's someone who we can aspire to be like."

Much-respected Western Bulldogs veteran Dale Morris has played his last AFL game with the premiership defender announcing his retirement.

The 36-year-old's ability to play through pain became the stuff of AFL legend across his 253-game career, but a third serious knee injury in the past 18 months has proved to be the last straw.

The 2016 premiership hero ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in his first AFL match of the season, in round 19 against Fremantle at Marvel Stadium, and underwent a traditional knee reconstruction which generally requires 10 to 12 months recovery time.

"It turns out you can't play footy forever," an emotional Morris told a press conference at Whitten Oval on Friday.

"I was trying to.

"I said as a young guy coming through that I would keep playing footy until my legs dropped off and over the last couple of years my legs have literally tried to drop off.

"It was time to call it.

"I'm one of those people who feel like I could play footy forever but we've had some good discussions with Bevo and the footy club and the best decision is to retire."

Morris gave serious consideration to trying to coax another season or two out of his battered body, but will instead take up a coaching role at the club.

With his teammates gathered in the background, the versatile defender spoke fondly of his AFL debut against Adelaide in round five of the 2005 season.

Dale Morris and Tom Boyd with the 2016 AFL premiership trophy.

"It was Chris Grant's 300th game and my first," he said.

"It was unreal. I lined up on Mark Ricciuto, shook his hand and got an elbow to the guts and down I went ... 'Welcome to footy!'

"Then I got told I was tagging Andrew McLeod after quarter-time.

"It was a massive first game."

Luke Beveridge paid glowing tribute to Morris, who he said possessed all of the positive traits he could hope to see in his players.

"From a legacy viewpoint there are people who come into your world who you just want to be like and everyone in this room wants to be a little bit like Dale Morris," Beveridge said.

"And that's his legacy ... he's someone who we can aspire to be like."

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