Lance Franklin. Photo by Phil Hillyard.

Sydney Swans champion and icon of the game Lance Franklin has called time on his remarkable career, announcing his retirement, effective immediately.

The champion forward has decided to hang up the boots, after 354 games over 19 seasons at the highest level.

He will leave the game as a dual premiership player, eight-time All Australian, four-time Coleman Medallist, and will finish 4th overall on the all-time goal kicking list with 1066 career goals.

Franklin is also a seven-time leading goal kicker for the Sydney Swans and a six-time Hawthorn leading goal kicker.

The 36-year-old told teammates of his decision on Monday afternoon, saying it has been an “unbelievable journey.”


Sydney Swans CEO Tom Harley said Franklin will go down as an all-time great.

“Lance is an icon of the AFL and will go down as one of the greatest players to ever play this game,” Harley said.

“Lance has that rare ability to transcend footy and has brought so much joy to fans for more than a decade now.

“He is a champion and will leave a lasting legacy, not only at the Sydney Swans, but within the AFL and broader community.

“We wish him, Jesinta, Tallulah and Rocky all the very best for the future. They will always hold a close place in the heart of our club.”


Regarded as the greatest forward of his generation, Franklin was initially drafted to Hawthorn with pick 5 in 2004 . He was recruited as a free agent to the Sydney Swans at the end of 2013, where he went on to kick 486 goals in the red and white.

Known for his raking left boot and freakish athleticism, Franklin burst onto the scene booting 113 goals in 2008 and then last season cracked the 1000 goal milestone on an iconic night at the SCG against Geelong.


Sydney Swans coach John Longmire paid tribute to Franklin, saying he was a privilege to coach.

"Lance Franklin has been a wonderful player with this football club and in my opinion is the greatest forward of his generation.,” Longmire said.

“He is an absolute freak of nature and we have been lucky enough to have front row seats to one of the best ever to play.

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“He is a massive competitor and a wonderful teammate. Lance is also an extremely private and humble champion, which makes him even more endearing to those who know him.

“After coming to the Swans as a 26-year-old in the prime of his life, he leaves as one of our most loved players to run out in the red and white. He is an out and out champion and we wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”



  • 354 games (182 Hawthorn, 172 Sydney)
  • 19thmost games played in league history
  • 22ndVFL/AFL player 350 career games
  • The fourth Indigenous player to 350 VFL/AFL games joining Shaun Burgoyne (407), Adam Goodes (372) and Eddie Betts (350) 
  • 1066 goals, sits fourth overall for most goals kicked
  • Dual premiership player (2008, 2013), has played in another four Grand Finals
  • Four-time Coleman medallist (2008, 2011, 2014, 2017)
  • 13-time leading goal kicker for his club (six times at Hawthorn 2007, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12 and seven at Sydney 2014, '15, '16, '17, '18, '21, '22) 
  • AFL Goal of the Year in 2010 and 2013 
  • Podium finish (3rd) in the 2014 Brownlow medal with 22 votes
  • One of five players to have been named in eight AFL All Australian teams (2008, '10, '11, '12, '14, '16, '17, '18),
  • Named captain of the All-Australian team in 2018 
  • One of just two players in the game’s history, along with former Swan and Saint Tony Lockett, to have booted 300 goals for two clubs
  • Has kicked 50 goals in a season 13 times, second only to Tony Lockett (14 seasons) 
  • 186 Brownlow votes in his career, the 13th most all time 

Swans members and fans, leave your message for Lance Franklin below.