Star Tiger makes surprise retirement call

4 weeks ago 7
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Three-time Richmond premiership defender Bachar Houli has made the surprising call to retire from the game, effective immediately.

The 33-year-old has played 232 AFL games in a tremendous 15-year career, in which he received All-Australian honours in 2019.

Houli also finished runner-up to superstar teammate Dustin Martin in Norm Smith Medal voting in the 2017 and 2019 grand final wins.

He was drafted to Essendon in 2006 and played 26 AFL games with the Bombers between 2007 and 2011, before switching to the Tigers in the pre-season draft.

"I have been fortunate enough to play at two great clubs and to be a part of the history of this game," Houli said in a club statement.

"Not only did I want to play as many games as possible, but I wanted to educate Australia, about my faith [and] about the religion of Islam, the religion of peace. I hope I have left a sense of peace in everyone's heart.

"I sincerely thank the club and the AFL for allowing me to be me.

"It's time to go fishing, Tiger for life."

Richmond defender Bachar Houli celebrating the 2017 AFL grand final triumph. (Getty)

Houli also played a major role off the field at Richmond in founding the Bachar Houli Foundation, which develops young leaders within the Muslim community.

Houli's retirement has come just days after fellow Richmond defender David Astbury called time on his AFL career.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick applauded the two men on their careers.

"Both retire three-time premiership players but that's only really scratching the surface of what both those boys have brought to our club," Hardwick told reporters.

"The legacy that they will leave, and have built, can't be measured and, to be honest, they can't be replaced."

Houli has battled calf troubles over the last two seasons and a syndesmosis injury cut short his 2021 campaign after 16 rounds.

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