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Eddie Betts blows whistle on playing career

Football

Former Crows champion Eddie Betts has confirmed he will retire after playing his 350th game when Carlton take on GWS this Saturday night.

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Betts, 34, indicated earlier this month he was enjoying his football in his second stint with the Blues and felt capable of continuing into an 18th season.

But the mercurial goal sneak, who wowed fans around the country, will now end his playing days in front of empty stands at Marvel Stadium.

Betts announced the end of his dazzling career via Instagram on Monday night, coming after a draining period for the Indigenous champion where he has again laid bare the pain caused by his ongoing fight against racism.

“Thanks for sticking by me through the highs and lows,” Betts wrote, while including pictures of him playing for Carlton and Adelaide.

“I hope at some point in my career I was able to put a smile on your face. If I did, I’m happy and my work is done here.

“To all the people who played a part in my career, it could never be done on my own.

“My family, back home for teaching and raising me that it’s always important to look out for others and be selfless in the way we go about things.”

A three-time All-Australian, Betts has kicked 638 goals with Carlton and Adelaide, and will become the 19th player in AFL/VFL history to reach 350 games.

He returned to the Blues in 2020 after six seasons with the Crows, where he lit up Adelaide Oval and kicked a series of remarkable goals from a corner of the ground that became known as ‘Eddie’s Pocket’.

Photo: Michael Errey/InDailyBetts has kicked 33 goals in 38 games in his second stint with Carlton, including 25 in 13 games this season, but was held goalless in Sunday’s horror 95-point defeat to Port Adelaide.

Betts signed a one-year contract for the 2021 season in a deal that included the veteran being downgraded to the rookie list.

He will turn 35 in November and Carlton have floated the possibility of Betts filling an off-field coaching or mentor role at the club.

-with AAP

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