He was the premiership Cat who become a cultural leader at the Lions.
Veteran Allen Christensen today informed his teammates he was retiring from AFL football after 133 games over 11 seasons.
He played 65 games for Geelong reaching the pinnacle with the 2011 premiership in just his second season.
The man nicknamed “Bundy” made the move to Brisbane at the end of the 2014 season and went on to play 68 games in a variety of roles, booting 58 goals as a small forward but also showing his versatility by spending time in the midfield and transforming himself into a rebounding defender.
While Geelong were a powerhouse when he joined them, at Brisbane he would play a key role in the Club’s climb up the AFL ladder.
The 29-year-old was part of the side that stormed home through the back half of last season to return the Club to the finals for the first time in a decade.
He played in both finals with the semi-final loss to GWS his last senior game for the Lions.
“Obviously the flag is something I will look back on with great fondness but it happened so long ago and I was so young and at the time I guess I was just thinking about continuously trying to get better and better,’’ he said.
“Now it is all over I can say I’m very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had, I played at two big Clubs and enjoyed some success.
“I am happy with the footy I played at the Lions, I played a different role here and I feel I was able to make a contribution.
“I was very proud to be a part of the side that returned our Club to the finals last year.
“We have come a long way, it was a crazy year and to have been able to make a contribution towards that is something that I will always carry with me.’’
Perhaps even more significant was the contribution he made off the field at the Lions as part of the group that developed the Club’s Reconciliation Action Plan and the formation of the RAP Committee which he co-chaired.
His work in the Indigenous space included becoming an ambassador for Deadly Choices, designing the Lions’ 2020 Indigenous guernsey for Sir Doug Nicholls Round and educating fellow players and staff about Indigenous culture.
He was also passionate about raising awareness about the dangers of gambling addiction and his fearlessness in sharing his own story has proven to be inspirational.
“I came here at a time where the club’s culture and its performance on the field wasn’t great and I also had a lot of stuff going on in my life too,’’ he said.
“The Club has helped me tremendously and I’m proud that I can say I feel I have made an impact on them too.
“I have been at the bottom but I have been lucky enough to play six years of footy for the Lions and to do things off the field I never thought I would do.
“Working in the Indigenous space and working with the support of our Club around the problems with gambling, it has helped me become a better person.
“I was lucky enough to have a lot of support from the Club to give me a platform to express myself on issues I am passionate about and I am proud we have become a destination club and especially one Indigenous players want to play for.’’
General Manager of Football David Noble thanked Christensen for his contribution to the Club and said his legacy was assured.
‘Allen has contributed to our club in a number of ways and through a number of avenues,’’ he said.
“As a player he has contributed to our on-field growth in the last four years, overcoming injury a couple of years ago through sheer determination to play at AFL level again.
‘As a person, Allen has battled with personal challenges off field with his gambling, faced them on a daily basis and then helping the football club and the wider community with the issues of gambling and its effects.
‘Then as a proud Indigenous man, he has been an integral component for the club to assist us with internal education around the importance of his people’s cultural issues and being part of our RAP program development.’
We wish him and his entire family all the best.