2003 premiership player Ash McGrath, today announced he will retire from AFL football following Sunday’s clash between the Lions and Fremantle.

McGrath will take to the Gabba one last time on Sunday after a career spanning 213 games and 14 years.

A product of South Fremantle, McGrath was originally expected to be a top-five pick in 2000, but a badly broken arm prevented him playing at the U18 National Championships.

However, McGrath remained clearly on the Lions’ radar and was drafted with the Club’s first selection (Pick No.13 overall) in the 2000 National Draft.

After making his debut in 2001, McGrath went on to kick 169 goals and play 213 games for the Lions including that unforgettable 200th game against Geelong in Round 13 last year at the Gabba, when the Lions came back from 52 points behind late in the third term, to defeat the Cats with the final kick of the game.

It was the greatest comeback in Club history. Better yet, it was McGrath himself who completed a fairy-tale finish by calmly slotting a set shot from outside 50m to win the game after the siren.

It will forever remain one of the most memorable moments witnessed at the Gabba.  

McGrath’s retirement marks the end of an era, as he becomes the last remaining member of the Lions’ triple premiership sides from 2001-2003 to retire.

McGrath’s longevity in the game will see him rightly go down as one of the Lions’ greats.

A total of 1,414 players have played a senior match throughout the Club’s combined 128-year history (including Fitzroy and the Bears), but only 26 have managed to reach 200 games. McGrath is one of them.

Lions General Manager, Football Operations, Dean Warren, said:

“Ash has been part of the fabric of our football Club for 14 years.

“He came to Brisbane as a 17-year-old and has grown up here. Ash’s longevity in the game is a testament to him as both a player and a person.

“To have someone with that sort of experience at your Club is invaluable, and there is no doubt our young list has benefited immensely from having Ash around the Club.

“We will miss him around the Club and wish him all the very best for whatever the future holds.”

McGrath will play his 214th final game for the Lions on Sunday 1.10pm at the Gabba and Lions fans are encouraged to come along and farewell one of the Club’s greats.