Sydney Swans veteran Heath Grundy has called time on his decorated career after 256 AFL games.
The 32-year-old told his teammates on Wednesday that he’s hanging up the boots due to an ongoing back injury, which has kept him on the sidelines since Round 1 this season.
A regular in the AFL New Zealand Heritage team, Grundy holds the record for the most games played by a Swans rookie, while he’s the seventh-most capped Swan of all time.
Sydney coach John Longmire paid tribute to Grundy’s extraordinary career.
“Heath has been an unbelievable servant of our club for a long time and there’s no doubt he will be missed,” Longmire said.
“In terms of leadership, Heath set an example for all of us with his meticulous preparation, dedication and passion for his craft.
“Each week he’d line up on the opposition’s most damaging and biggest forward – and he’d just get the job done.
“He’s a premiership player and a champion of our club. We wish Heath, Elise, Reggie and Jameson all the best for the next phase of life.”
Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham said Grundy is one of the greatest Swans stories.
“Heath has been an anchor of our defence over the past decade. His dedication and resilience saw him progress from the rookie list to being in the top 10 players for games played at the Sydney Swans,” Pridham said.
“A premiership player and Life Member, Heath will be remembered for his on-field toughness. He is an immensely popular figure at the club and his strength of character and friendliness has benefitted everyone he has dealt with over the past 15 years.”
While recruited as a forward, where he spent the first part of his career, it was in the backline where he made a name for himself as a selfless, reliable and consistent key defender.
Often tasked with quelling the opposition’s biggest and best forward, Grundy went about his business with minimal fuss, playing a remarkable 213 out of a possible 219 matches between seasons 2009-2017.
Story – Sydney Swans