Brad Ebert salutes the crowd after playing his 250th AFL game earlier this season.

Brad Ebert’s full statement announcing his retirement on Monday 19 October:

I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities that football has given me.

I’ve lived out my childhood dream, playing for two amazing clubs in West Coast and now Port Adelaide but the time is right to retire and move on to what’s next in life.

The number of head knocks and concussions have left me with no other choice and after medical advice, I feel that now is the time to put my health and my family first and leave the game.

I’ve loved heading into the club each day because of the people that are there. To individualise you all would be hard because I’ve loved this group and I’ll talk to everyone personally in time but I just wanted to make mention that it’s my teammates, coaches, medical and performance staff, support staff, and the Dad’s Army boys.

These are all the people that make these places great and I thank you all.

That goes to all the departments at the club. I know this year has been harder than normal and for everyone to work and stay connected to the club – the tireless work does not go unnoticed and I thank you all.

Football would not be what it is without the fans, sponsors and members and this was never truer than this year when all the Port Adelaide people stuck with us.

The noise and atmosphere of Adelaide Oval is something else because of you all, and the messages of support over the past few days has been truly humbling.

That goes for all the messages in fact – all mates, family, teammates, former teammates, opposition players, coaches, etc. It’s truly meant a lot and I know that I’ve had some impact on these people over the time so I thank you.

My family is everything to me and I thank you. Mum, Dad and Ashleigh taught me how to be, and Bec, I love you and admire who you are and your stoic nature is truly something special.

I’m so proud of our little family and I look forward to watching Leo and Henry grow.

Being able to contribute to the larger AFL, West Coast Eagles and now this great club for so long as a player has been a dream, and while there is a lot that goes into a football team, I just hope that I’ve been able to give my little bit and play the game the right way.

I did not finish off with the fairytale I was hoping, but I can happily say that I didn’t leave much else out there.

Thanks again.