Richmond retirement bombshell: Champion defender Alex Rance quits footy
Champion Richmond defender Alex Rance has shocked the football world by announcing his retirement, effective immediately.
The Tigers have confirmed the star has called time to “focus on his family and faith”.
Rance, 30, missed most of last season, including the grand final victory, after injuring his knee at the start of the season.
A five-time All-Australian and 2017 premiership player, Rance is widely regarded one the game’s best defenders of the past decade.
“I am someone who will always give their best to what they commit to, and I’m proud of the time, energy and dedication that I’ve put towards my football career,” Rance said in a Richmond statement.
“Right now, I feel I have served my purpose in terms of my on-field performance and cultural impact, and I’m so grateful to the football club for their support and care in allowing me to do that in my own unique way.
“Now I feel is the right time for me to put the same time and energy into other areas of my life that need it, and to prioritise the more important things to me, such as my spiritual growth, my family and friends.”
Sad for footy that Alex Rance has retired , I firmly believe that players get better by the generation , even allowing for that cycle of constant improvement no other key defender I have seen matches his dominating presence to control the back 50 , he has been an all time great
— Leigh Matthews (@LeighRMatthews) December 19, 2019
Tiger great Matthew Richardson said it wasn’t a complete shock to those who knew Rance well.
“Alex has always had other things in his life and he wants to give them more time now,” he said.
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(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)