Brad Ebert soaks in an emotional farewell from the Port Adelaide crowd following his final AFL game.

RETIRING Port Adelaide veteran Brad Ebert has talked about the special send off he received from supporters at the end of Friday night’s Preliminary Final at Adelaide Oval.

The 30-year-old left the oval to the crowd chanting “Ebo” after injuring himself in a typically courageous act to prevent a mark in defensive 50.

Making his retirement official with a statement at a press conference on Monday, the former vice captain said he did not remember much of the incident, but it was humbling to know how much support he had received on the night and throughout his 260-game career.

“I’ve loved this footy club,” Ebert said.

“I remember walking around these changerooms and kicking the footy out the back when Dad was the assistant coach.

“To know that that happened is humbling. You don’t play footy for those kinds of accolades but it’s beautiful to hear and it’s quite special.”

Ebert had decided weeks ago that this season would be his last after suffering a few head knocks and concussions.

He explained how it played out.

“I’d been talking to (coach) Ken (Hinkley) and the doctor and after that last concussion earlier in the year, the doc and I sat down and talked about things,” he said.

“After speaking with him we came to an agreement to give it another crack and one last chance, I put the helmet back on but if there were to be any more knocks and any more concussions, then that would be it.

“Funny enough, it happened on Friday night. I’d spoken to the group and everyone understood the situation and I was ok with it if it was to end this year.

“The knock (I took) on Friday night was probably the icing on the cake and as I said, it was time to put the family first and move on to what’s next.”

Initially drafted by West Coast with pick 13 in the 2007 AFL National Draft, the Port Adelaide junior returned home to Alberton during the 2011 trade period and soon after was named club vice-captain.

Ebert has won multiple awards during his time at the club, including finishing as runner-up best and fairest and best team man in 2012.  

He expressed his pride at leaving the club in a better place than when he arrived, and recalled his toughest moments in the aftermath of the death of his close mate and teammate John McCarthy in an end of season incident.

A man who bleeds black and white through a long family legacy at the club, Ebert will now dedicate more time to his business interests, his wife and his two young sons, Leo, 3, and Henry, 1.

“I’m excited about what’s next. I’ve loved the club and I’ve loved playing football but I’m equally as excited about what the next chapter holds and what opportunities might open up,” he said.

“Yes, it’s sad that I’m leaving football and that I wasn’t able to win through to next week and achieve some of those things but at the same time I’m content that I’ve played a lot of football and enjoyed it throughout the time.

“I’ve got a beautiful young family and I’m excited about what’s to come.”

Brad Ebert is looking forward to spending more time with his young family post-football.

Coach Ken Hinkley said he admired Ebert’s courage but understood his decision to put his health and future first.

“I’m a father and I understand there’s more things going on than playing a game of footy,” Hinkley said.

“He’s too courageous for his own good but he’s forever a great teammate.

“I was probably more cautious than Brad about him wanting to play for a bit longer and I didn’t want him to make that decision. But he was too brave.

“In the end, he needed to play. He wanted to be part of this club and he wanted be part of this opportunity and I couldn’t deny him that.”

Hinkley praised Ebert’s selflessness and professionalism.

He said like fellow retiring player Justin Westhoff, Ebert had been the perfect role model for the club’s younger players.

“There’s not a young player who wouldn’t want to look at Brad and use him as the example. That is what you want to be if you want to be a footballer, like Westy.

“We’ve two greats of our club who are leaving and it’ll be a big hole to fill but if you want a role model, he’s sitting beside me as to how you want to play your footy and how you want to be as a person.

“He’s a star.”