06 Aug 2008
St Kilda stalwart Robert Harvey has decided to hang up his boots after 20 glorious years (to the day) playing the game at the highest level. The iconic #35 will call it a day at the end of the 2008 season to spend more time with wife Danielle and three children Connor, Remy and Alyssa.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from football,” Harvey said today.
“The St Kilda Football Club has been my life for over 20 years but after discussions between myself and the club, I have come to the realisation that it is the right time to move on and begin a new chapter of my life.
“It’s been an incredible journey since I started as a 16-year old in 1988 and I would like to thank the club for its continued support throughout my career. Moorabbin has been a second home for me, the Saints have been a second family and I have every confidence that the St Kilda Football Club is in great hands to move forward in the pursuit of success.”
Ross Lyon, Senior Coach of St Kilda said, “It is hard to think of any other player in the game that commands the respect and admiration from his peers that Robert does. He is a consummate professional, one of the most passionate players in the history of the sport and will be sorely missed but fondly remembered by all Australian football fans.”
In a career spanning three decades, Harvey has achieved almost every feat imaginable on his way to becoming one of football’s most respected figures. Throughout 376 games to date he has won two Brownlow Medals, four St Kilda Best & Fairest medals, three pre season cups, three EJ Whitten Medals, a Michael Tuck Medal, an AFLPA MVP Award and an astounding eight All Australian selections between 1992 and 2003.
The 36-year old also sits fourth on the all-time games list and will move into sole possession of third place in St Kilda’s Round 21 clash against Adelaide. He is also the only player in the history of the game to have polled Brownlow votes in at least 100 games and sits second on the all-time votes list with 205.
Lyon continued, “While Robert’s career can be remembered by his outstanding individual accolades, I think most will remember him as a selfless team player who did whatever it took for the Saints to be successful. He gave his absolute all for the club and is unarguably one of football’s most liked and respected people.”
While Harvey is still unsure what exactly life after football will hold, the 36-year old knows that some family time is definitely on the cards.
“I really look forward to spending more time with my wife and kids,” he said.
“They have all been extremely supportive of my football career and have put up with a lot over the years, so it will be nice to have a lot more free time on my hands to give back to them. I couldn’t have hoped for better support throughout my 20 years at St Kilda.”
Harvey also paid tribute to St Kilda’s loyal supporters.
“They are a big part of the reason that kept me coming back year after year,” he said.
“I genuinely believe Saint fans are among the most passionate in the world and their support is inspiring not only to myself, but to the entire team who runs on to the ground week in, week out proudly playing for the red, white and black.”
This weekend, Harvey lines up as a pivotal part of the St Kilda team that is preparing to face Collingwood in a crucial clash at the MCG on Saturday night. Ross Lyon has called all Saints’ supporters, members and football fans in general to seize one of the few opportunities left to come and witness this champion of the game.
“With just three Melbourne games remaining before potentially playing in the finals, time is running out for fans to savour and celebrate Robert’s career. I implore everyone, particularly St Kilda supporters to come out in force throughout our last month of the season to get behind us as we hope to provide a fairytale finish to his illustrious career.”
Career Reflection – Robert Harvey
Player Honours: Brownlow Medal 1997, 1998; All-Australian 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003; Best and Fairest 1992, 1994, 1997, 1998; Pre Season Cup 1996, 2004, 2008;
Draft History: Recruited by St Kilda from its VCFL zone in 1988
Stats: Debut: 1988; Games: 376, Goals: 213
The St Kilda Football Club invites all football fans to log into Saint Central and post your tribute to Robert Harvey.
Is there a particular memory you have of the great man? Want to tell him what his contribution means to you? Or do you simply want to express your appreciation of what he has done for the Saints and Australian Football over the last 20 years?
Simply visit www.saintscentral.com.au, log in and create your message.
The club will pass the submissions on to Robert and his family.
Official AFL Website of the
St Kilda Football Club