GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Dylan Roberton of the Saints celebrates a goal during the 2018 AFL Round 04 match between the Geelong Cats and the St Kilda Saints at GMHBA Stadium on April 15, 2018 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

St Kilda defender Dylan Roberton has officially announced his retirement from the AFL.

The 29-year old took leave from the club at the start of the year to weigh up his future in the game, having struggled for senior opportunities since battling heart issues in 2018.

The backman played 129 AFL games for Fremantle and St Kilda since making his debut in 2010.

The Saints confirmed Robertson's retirement in a statement on Friday afternoon.

“I’ve come to a point where I need to put my family and future first,” Roberton told saints.com.au.

“But after lengthy discussions with my family and on the advice of my doctors, I’ve made the extremely hard decision to hang up the boots.

“I’m so grateful for the support of the entire St Kilda Football Club, particularly Dr Tim Barbour and Tony Brown, whose support and friendship has been unwavering over the past three years in particular.

“To my teammates and coaches at both St Kilda and Fremantle, thank you for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream.

“To the Saints fans, thank you for all your support and for embracing me as soon as I arrived at the club.

“Lastly, to Amy, the kids and all my family and friends, thank you for your support.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 05: Dylan Roberton of the Saints high fives fans after winning the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Etihad Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten thanked Roberton for his contributions to the club, praising his character and resilience

Ratten said the club would continue to support him in his next chapter of life.

“Dylan is a much loved and well respected member of our club,” Ratten said.

“He should be really proud of how he has dealt with everything life has thrown at him – it’s a real credit to his character.

“During his time off training, he’s really embraced the challenge of supporting the football program.

“Dylan has a great footy brain and he’ll remain an asset to our program for the remainder of 2021.

“He has our full support in this decision, and Dylan, Amy, Boston, Henry and Pip will always be part of the Saints family.”

LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 29: Dylan Roberton of the Saints celebrates after scoring a goal during the round six AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the St Kilda Saints at University of Tasmania Stadium on April 29, 2017 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
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