St Kilda veteran and 287-game champion, Leigh Montagna, has announced his retirement from AFL football.

Montagna told his teammates of his decision on Wednesday.

“For the past sixteen years, the St Kilda Football Club has been my home and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to play out my career as a one club player,” Montagna said.

“I want to thank my friends and family, in particular my parents and wife Erinn for their unconditional support.

“To my teammates, past and present, it has been an honour to share the field and the changerooms with you and I will cherish the many life-long friendships I have made.

“To the St Kilda Football Club coaches, medical team and staff, thank you for allowing me to get the very best out of myself and for always treating me respect.

“And finally to St Kilda fans, thank you for your support through the highs and lows over the past 16 years. It has meant the world to me.”

Coach Alan Richardson praised Montagna's contribution to the club over his 16 years.

“Composed, skilful and incredibly consistent, Joey’s record speaks for itself,” Richardson said.

“But what he added in terms of leadership and the ability to communicate with his teammates was what set him apart as a player.

“His understanding of the game was matched only by his skill at being able to provide the right message at the right time to teammates and coaches on and off the field.

“His impact on St Kilda over the past 16 years has been enormous, as has his role in the development of the current group.

“The standards he set for consistency will continue to drive our club forward for many years to come.”

Montagna's retirement adds to the list of star retirees in 2017, with the likes of Luke Hodge, Matt Priddis, Sam Mitchell, Jobe Watson and teammate Nick Riewoldt all calling time on their careers this year.

The 33-year-old retires with an average of 24 disposals per game, 4.7 tackles an four marks.

He was twice named in the All-Australian team (2009, 2010) and finished in the top three in St Kilda's best and fairest on five occasions.

Montagna is likely to move into a media career.