36 players have decided to hang up the boots this season, ending the careers of cherished characters and beloved legends of our game.

With premierships stars, All-Australians, club champions and loveable larrikins culminating the class of 2021, we take a look into all of those that have called time on their careers in 2021.


David MackayPlayed 248 games for the Crows as a staple in their midfield, making his first appearance at West Lakes in 2008.

Daniel TaliaEnds a stellar career with Adelaide after 200 games, one Malcolm Blight Medal and two All-Australian selections as a highly-regarded key defender.


Grant BirchallRetires as a four-time premiership player with Hawthorn, playing 248 games in the Brown and Gold before moving to Queensland. Featured for the Lions on 39 occasions as a reliable veteran down back.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: Grant Birchall of the Lions leaves the field after playing his 250th match during the round 3 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the West Coast Eagles at Metricon Stadium on June 20, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Archie SmithAnnounced his retirement from the game after eight seasons and 16 games with Brisbane.


Eddie BettsEnded an illustrious career across multiple stints with the Blues and six seasons at Adelaide. Played 350 games across a 17-year career, amassing three All-Australian blazers and six leading goalkicker awards. Booted 640 goals, being one of only three players to record 300+ majors at two clubs.

Marc MurphyLeaves as a club great after 300 games in the navy blue, first dating back to 2006. Claimed the AFLCA Champion Player of the Year Award in 2011, along with two John Nicholls Medals and an All-Australian selection along with a tenure as the captain of the club.


Levi GreenwoodCalled time on a 160-game career with the Kangaroos and Magpies after first joining the league via the 2007 Draft.

Chris MayneMoved to Collingwood from the Dockers at the end of the 2016 season, playing 172 games in purple and 76 at the Holden Centre.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 28: Chris Mayne of the Magpies celebrates the win with fans during the AFL Round match between Richmond v Collingwood at Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 28, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Josh ThomasRetired after 123 games with the Magpies, which included a two-year ban in 2015-2016. Was a constant for Collingwood and was critical in their push toward a premiership in 2018.

Anton TohillMade his AFL debut this year in a loss to Port Adelaide in Round 19. Ventured back home to Ireland at the conclusion of the season.


Patrick AmbroseInjuries limited the utility to 88 games across eight seasons with the Bombers, where he featured across multiple key positions.

Cale HookerAfter 219 games in the red sash, Hooker hung up the boots following 14 seasons with the Bombers, booting 122 goals from several seasons as a forward.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 27: Cale Hooker of the Bombers kicks a goal during the 2019 AFL round 15 match between the Essendon Bombers and the GWS Giants at Marvel Stadium on June 27, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Irving MosquitoA sad story for the youngster, who lost his passion in the AFL and decided to walk away from the game. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of Irving Mosquito.

David Zaharakis: Will always be remembered for THAT goal on ANZAC Day, Zaharakis gave great service to the Bombers across 226 games.


Stephen HillEnded a stellar career in purple as a Life Member of the club, playing 218 games and holding down a key role as the club as the Dockers neared a maiden premiership in 2013.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15: Stephen Hill of the Dockers looks to pass the ball during the round 13 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Port Adelaide Power at Optus Stadium on June 15, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)


Lachie HendersonCalled time on his career following stints with the Lions, Blues and Cats. Transitioned into a reliable key-defender at Kardinia Park and hung up the boots after 206 career games.

Josh JenkinsPlayed just the two games for Geelong in as many seasons at the club, but will be remembered for his service to the Crows. Played 149 AFL games and led Adelaide's goalkicking tally in 2018.

Gold Coast

Jarrod HarbrowLeaves the game as the Suns' all-time games record holder with 192 appearances. First joined the AFL with the Bulldogs and played 70 games at the Kennel before moving north.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 31: Jarrod Harbrow of the Suns kicks during the round two AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Fremantle Dockers at Metricon Stadium on March 31, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Jack HombschA journeyman with the Giants, Power and Suns, culminating 116 games across a decade in the AFL.

Jordan MurdochPlayed 14 games for the Suns following a move from Geelong, where he played a majority of his 122 career games.

Zac SmithHad two stints at the Suns after first playing with the club in their maiden campaign 10 years ago. Played 124 matches across his career, 50 with Geelong and 74 with Gold Coast.

Greater Western Sydney



Shaun BurgoyneA decorated career that hangs in the company of AFL greats, playing 400+ games and claiming four premierships across tenures with Port Adelaide and Hawthorn. Will return to the club he first called home next year in a mentor role.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 24: Shaun Burgoyne of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the round 23 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Hawthorn Hawks at Optus Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Jonathon PattonA career that didn't pan out as planned for the No.1 pick in the 2011 Draft, playing 95 games and just the six with Hawthorn.

Tom ScullyAn injury-riddled run heavily impacted Scully's career late, which featured across stints with the Demons, Giants and Hawks totalling 187 games.


Neville JettaA professional of the game, Jetta called time on his career after 159 games and 13 seasons with the Demons, playing a key role in defence across a difficult era for Melbourne.

Nathan JonesBleeds red and blue. Was unfortunate to miss the club's premiership win, but certainly steered the ship for the club in the years prior. Hangs the boots up as one of only two players to reach 300 games for the Demons.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Nathan Jones of the Demons celebrates winning the round 22 AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and Melbourne Demons at Optus Stadium on August 19, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

North Melbourne


Port Adelaide

Tom RockliffA difficult finish to his career due to injury. Rockliff flexed his ball-magnet skills with the Lions, winning a best and fairest, All-Australian selection and led Brisbane for two seasons before making an eventual move to Alberton.


David Astbury: A triple premiership defender and reliable name for the Tigers across 12 years at Punt Road.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 12: David Astbury of the Tigers handballs during the round eight AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Richmond Tigers at Optus Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Bachar HouliPlayed 206 games with the Tigers after swapping a red sash for the yellow and black, playing a key role in Richmond's premiership dynasty and even claimed an All-Australian blazer along the way.

St Kilda

Jake CarlisleHung up the boots at age 30 after 151 games across stints with the Bombers and Saints in roles as a key forward and defender.

James FrawleyDidn't quite get the farewell with the Saints as desired, however Frawley amassed a great career with the Demons before moving to the Hawks to claim a flag.

Shaun McKernanAnother three-club journeyman, first making his debut with the Crows in 2009 before moving to the Bombers six years later. Ended his 91-game career with the Saints, playing just the four games in red, white and black.

Dylan RobertonPlayed just the five games across the past four seasons following a serious heart condition, which abruptly ended a promising career for the defender. Played 129 games across tenures with the Dockers and Saints.



West Coast

Nathan VardyDecided to retire after being unable to land a new deal with the Eagles, who were also keen to continue their partnership with Vardy. Ended his career as a premiership player at West Coast after 77 games with the Cats and Eagles.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: Nathan Vardy of the Eagles celebrates after scoring a goal during the round six AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the West Coast Eagles at GMHBA Stadium on April 24, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Daniel VenablesAnother career that was brought to a premature ending due to injury, the 22-year-old was forced to call an end to his 21-game career following a string of concussions.

Western Bulldogs

Lin JongA much-loved figure at the Bulldogs, Jong battled injuries throughout his time at Whitten Oval, amassing 65 games with the Bulldogs after first making his debut in 2012.