After a career spanning 178 AFL games, versatile big man Kurt Tippett has announced his retirement from football, effective immediately.

Sydney’s No.8 faced a number of injury setbacks over the past few seasons, and most recently has been working to strengthen his ankle following post-season reconstructive surgery.

Tippett had remained optimistic of returning to full fitness, however the length of his recovery and doubts about being able to get back to his best, led to his decision to retire.

The 30-year-old told his teammates on Monday, saying it was a difficult decision.

“It’s really tough to leave a game and a club which I really love, but the reality is that my body isn’t going to stand up to the rigors of professional football. As I've found out in the past 18 months or so, it's impossible to play at the level you want without being fully fit,” Tippett said.

“I want to thank the Swans and also the Crows for the opportunity to fulfil my dream to play and compete in the AFL. I would also like to thank my teammates and coaches, particularly John Longmire and Neil Craig, and the fans and supporters of our great game.

“Last but not least I would like to thank my family and friends for their love and support over my career. As sad as I am that I won’t play at this level again, I look forward to transitioning into the next phase of my life”

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said Tippett has been an integral part of the team.

“Kurt has played some key roles for us but has been very unlucky with injury, which is a real shame, because when he’s out on the field he’s been a great competitor,” Longmire said.

“It takes courage to admit when your body isn’t up to playing at the level you want, because players love nothing more than to be out there with their teammates competing each week.

“Kurt has considered what’s best for the club and his teammates when making this decision, and he departs with our full support.”

Sydney Swans Head of Football Tom Harley has thanked Tippett for his contribution to the club.

“Retirement is never an easy decision and I know that Kurt’s decision was not made lightly,” Harley said.

“Kurt has been an exemplary team mate and always put the club first. We wish Kurt all the best for the next phase of his life and he will always be welcome at our club.”

Tippett played 74 of his 178 games in the red and white, including the 2014 and 2016 AFL Grand Finals. He was initially recruited by Adelaide with pick 32 in the 2006 AFL National Draft, before making his way to Sydney ahead of season 2013.

Tippett was Sydney’s leading goalkicker in 2013, kicking a total of 137 goals in his time at the Swans.

Tippett’s Stats 

DOB: 8 May 1987
Guernsey No. 8
AFL Debut: Round 1, 2008 (Adelaide)
Games: 178 (74 Sydney)
Goals: 325 (137 Sydney)
2008 Rising Star nominee
2010 Adelaide’s leading goalkicker
2013 Sydney’s leading goalkicker