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 Mackay: Played 248 games for the Crows as a staple in their midfield, making his first appearance at West Lakes in 2008.
Grant Birchall: Retires 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.
Eddie Betts: Ended 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 Murphy: Leaves 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 Greenwood: Called time on a 160-game career with the Kangaroos and Magpies after first joining the league via the 2007 Draft.
Josh Thomas: Retired 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.
Cale Hooker: After 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.
David Zaharakis: Will always be remembered for THAT goal on ANZAC Day, Zaharakis gave great service to the Bombers across 226 games.
Stephen Hill: Ended 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.
Lachie Henderson: Called 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 Jenkins: Played 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.
Jarrod Harbrow: Leaves 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.
Jack Hombsch: A journeyman with the Giants, Power and Suns, culminating 116 games across a decade in the AFL.
Jordan Murdoch: Played 14 games for the Suns following a move from Geelong, where he played a majority of his 122 career games.
Zac Smith: Had 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 Burgoyne: A 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.
Jonathon Patton: A 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 Scully: An injury-riddled run heavily impacted Scully's career late, which featured across stints with the Demons, Giants and Hawks totalling 187 games.
Neville Jetta: A 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 Jones: Bleeds 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.
Tom Rockliff: A 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.
Bachar Houli: Played 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.
Jake Carlisle: Hung 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 Frawley: Didn'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 McKernan: Another 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 Roberton: Played 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.
Nathan Vardy: Decided 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.
Daniel Venables: Another 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.
Lin Jong: A 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.