Richmond premiership player Kane Lambert has retired effective immediately after 135 games.
Lambert told teammates on Monday, flagging his ongoing injuries and inability to contribute at the elite level.
The 30-year-old – who was selected as a mature-age pick at 23-years-old – implicated his journey as giving back to those who supported him through the years.
“My purpose has been to prove people right, the people that cared for me and gave me their time and effort,” Lambert said.
“I am so fortunate to be able to thank those people.”
Lambert added that highlight of his extraordinary career was not about the premierships, but who he shared it with.
“It is not what you win, it is who you win it with, and it has been an absolute pleasure to share this journey with all our players, staff and members both past and present.”
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick paid tribute to Lambert, speaking of his commitment and perseverance to the club.
“What Kane has given us since he arrived at the footy club can never be repaid, but it can be learned,” Hardwick said.
“Dedication, resilience and all the things we talk about needed to get the best out of yourself, this man has done it.
“The way he played the game; we changed things based around him and how Lambert would do it. Watching him on the field is like a masterclass for an AFL coach.
“Kane has given us success, but he has also given us some of the off-field stuff that is going to last a long time.”
Lambert was a key part of the three Richmond premierships (2017, 2019 and 2020) and was pivotal to the success of the club.
After being drafted with pick 46 of the 2014 Rookie Draft via VFL clubs Williamstown and Northern Blues, the running machine was a consistent contributor since making his debut.
Finishing second in Richmond’s best-and-fairest (Jack Titus Medal) in 2018 and third (Maurie Fleming Medal) in 2017, Lambert was an invaluable part of Damien Hardwick’s side and was the epitome of Richmond’s triumphant run.
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