NRL icon Benji Marshall has fought back tears as he announced his retirement from footy.
At a press conference on the Gold Coast this afternoon, the 36-year-old says now is the right time to hang up the boots.
“If I didn’t do it now, I would have played the game until I was 40.
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“I just love the game so much,” Marshall said.
It wraps up a stellar career for Marshall, who made his debut for the West Tigers in 2003.
Since then, he’s played 346 matches in the top grade. The last of which, was Saturday’s grand final against the Panthers.
He almost didn’t play this season, until Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett gave him a deal to come to Souths for the year.
“I did consider playing on, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was time to move on,” Marshall said.
“My family’s made a lot of sacrifices for me, moving around for me, and I think it’s time to put them first.”
“I feel privileged and honoured that what the game has given me and the life I’ve been able to live.
“I want to thank the NRL for letting me be a part of this great game.
“I’d like to thank the Wests Tigers, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Brisbane Broncos and St George Illawarra Dragons for the opportunity to represent those four great clubs,” he said.