Marc Murphy will play his 300th game for Carlton against Port Adelaide this weekend, and it will also be the final time he graces an AFL ground.
Murphy announced his retirement earlier on Tuesday and will become just the sixth Blues star to achieve the incredible feat of 300 appearances for the club after John Nicholls, Bruce Doull, Craig Bradley, Stephen Silvagni and Kade Simpson.
The 34-year-old was the No.1 pick in the 2005 national draft and made his debut in round 1 of the 2006 season.
Murphy believed it was the perfect time to draw the curtains on an incredible 16-year career.
“Being recruited to Carlton back as an 18-year-old was a dream come true,and looking back over my career now, it really has been extremely rewarding and I feel very grateful to be a Carlton man,” Murphy said.
“There have certainly been some tough times along the way, but equally, I’ve experienced some incredible highs – including being captain, which was an honour I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
“It will feel very different not walking into this club every day that I’ve called home, but I’m very lucky to have been able to do that these past 16 seasons with some incredibly fond memories and lifelong mates.
“I’d like to thank my family, all of my teammates, coaches and staff for all of their support over the years, and of course every member and supporter who has stood by the club along the way.
“I can’t wait to pull on the Carlton guernsey one last time and run out with the boys this weekend.”
Murphy was named as Carlton’s best and fairest in 2011 and 2017 and was the Blues’ captain from 2013 to 2018. He was also selected as an All-Australian in 2011.
Embattled Blues coach David Teague was full of praise for the medium forward and the impact he’d had at Carlton since bursting onto the scene as a teenager.
“Marc has been a terrific player for our football club and he will depart the game leaving a great legacy at Ikon Park,” Teague said.
“His contribution on and off the field, particularly across his six seasons as captain, has been profound, and we are all extremely proud of what he has achieved in the No.3 guernsey, including being recognised with AFL life membership earlier this year.
“In football, there are highs and there are lows and no doubt ‘Murph’ has experienced both along the journey. But his loyalty has never wavered and that is a true demonstration of his pride in pulling on the navy blue.
“On behalf of everyone at our football club, we wish him, his wife Jessie and kids Max and Imogen all the very best.”