Premiership forward Tory Dickson has announced his retirement from AFL football.
The 33-year-old informed teammates of his decision on Saturday, calling time on an impressive career at the highest level, which has spanned 114 games across nine seasons for the Western Bulldogs.
Dickson was a crucial member of the Bulldogs’ famous 2016 premiership victory.
He kicked 40 goals for the season – including 10 across the finals series, with hauls of four in the preliminary final against the GWS Giants and three in the grand final triumph against the Sydney Swans.
Dickson built a reputation as one of the competition’s best set shot goal-kickers and ends his career with the enviable goal-kicking record of 181.61, which includes a career-best year of 50.12 in 2015.
He said the time was right to hang up the boots.
“I’m incredibly proud of everything I have achieved as a Western Bulldogs player,” Dickson said.
“For a long time, I didn’t think I would get to play one AFL game and to have played more than 100 games for this club and contribute to our 2016 premiership success was incredible. The opportunity the Western Bulldogs have given me is something I will always be grateful for.
“Making the decision to retire has been incredibly difficult, but I believe it is the right one.
“There have been many people who have helped me along way who I am thankful for. My family have been an incredible support, and this year has been challenging on many fronts, including my son Riley being back in Melbourne.
“To all the coaches, support staff and Bulldogs fans who have been part of my journey, thank you. It has been a great ride.”
A mature-aged draftee at the age of 24, Dickson joined the Bulldogs with pick 57 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft following stints with Frankston and Bendigo in the VFL.
He won the Chris Grant Best First Year Player Award in 2012, Brad Johnson Best Team Player Award in 2015 and featured in Footscray’s 2014 VFL premiership.
Director of Football, Chris Grant, said Dickson had made an invaluable contribution in red, white and blue.
Tory Dickson retires— Swamp (@sirswampthing) September 27, 2020
Most accurate V/@AFL goal kickers (where records known, 200+ scores)
74.8% - TORY DICKSON (181.61)
71.5% - Peter Jones
69.7% - Tony Lockett
69.5% - Bob Heard
69.5% - Aaron Edwards
68.8% - Peter Hudson
68.6% - Matthew Lloyd
“Tory has made a significant impact at our club over the past decade,” Grant said.
“His story is one of real perseverance. Having been overlooked in multiple drafts, Tory continued to work hard and finally earned his opportunity on an AFL list.
“On the field, his skills as a goal-kicking forward have been clear for all to see, and his impact across our 2016 premiership year and successful finals campaign was profound. Equally important has been his off-field contribution, as a player his teammates love to play alongside, and in particular, as a great club person.
“Tory will forever be a Bulldog and we thank him for everything he has done for our club.”