Dual premiership midfielder Travis Varcoe has announced his retirement.
As Collingwood’s season drew to a close in last night’s semi-final against Geelong at the Gabba, so did the 230-game career of the 32 year-old who had flagged his intentions to team-mates and staff earlier in the week.
Varcoe last wore the black and white stripes in Collingwood’s round 18 encounter with Port Adelaide at the Gabba.
The quietly spoken teenager from South Australia’s Central Districts blossomed into a distinguished member of one of the greatest draft classes of all time.
The top 15 selections in the 2005 draft included the names of Marc Murphy, Scott Pendlebury, Josh Kennedy, Shannon Hurn, Grant Birchall, Patrick Ryder, Nathan Jones, Shaun Higgins and Dale Thomas. Varcoe was selected by Geelong with pick 15.
He played 138 games for the Cats between 2006-2014, a run that included premierships in 2009 and 2011, and played 92 matches for Collingwood.
Varcoe arrived at Collingwood as part of a three-way trade that sent Heritier Lumumba to Melbourne and Mitch Clark to Geelong.
Across his 15 seasons, Varcoe represented the Indigenous All-Stars (2009), wore the Australian jumper against the Irish (2010) and won a reputation as a big occasion impact player.
His first quarter goals in the 2011 grand final, against Collingwood, set the scene for a comprehensive Cats victory.
His opening quarter goal for Collingwood against West Coast in the 2018 Qualifying final hushed a hostile Optus Stadium crowd, stemmed an Eagles onslaught and brought the Magpies into a contest they would narrowly lose.
It was the side’s only goal of the term and his team-mates ran from all over the ground to honour both the moment and the fact he had taken the field only a week after the passing of his sister Maggie.
“I’ve run my race,” Varcoe said.
“I don’t have another season left in the tank. I leave feeling very fortunate and thankful for all that two wonderful clubs, Geelong and Collingwood, did for me and my family.
“I hope I was able to give something back to both of them in return for the support and care I received. As a footballer, you don’t do it alone on or off the field.”
Collingwood GM of Football, Geoff Walsh, thanked Varcoe and his family, wife Kim and their two daughters, Olivia and Franki, for what they gave to Collingwood over the last six years.
“At his best, Trav was a dynamic player who could hunt opponent or ball with real intent. He was what we needed when he joined us and he has never stopped being a solid member of the group.
“All of Collingwood thanks Trav, Kim and their family.”