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Farewell to former Saints skipper

Tom Morris & :Luke Holmesby  August 28, 2014 4:22 PM

Luke Ball played 142 games and booted 58 goals for the Saints.

Luke Ball played 142 games and booted 58 goals for the Saints.

FORMER St Kilda captain Luke Ball has announced his retirement, bringing an end to a career in which he spent seven at the Saints and five at Collingwood.

If the Magpies lose to Hawthorn on Friday night, it will be Ball’s 223rd and final AFL match.

The 30-year-old was drafted while still at school with pick two in the now celebrated 2001 ‘Super Draft,’ forging a career alongside fellow up-and-comers Nick Riewoldt, Lenny Hayes and Nick Dal Santo.

He played in pre-season premiership sides in 2004 and 2008, was named an All-Australian in 2005, and played 142 games for St Kilda from 2003-2009.

Ball won the Trevor Barker Award alongside Steven Baker in 2005, and was named captain in 2006 and co-captain in 2007 with Riewoldt and Hayes.

Despite limited opportunities, the on-baller collected 22 disposals in the 2009 Grand Final loss to Geelong and laid seven tackles.

A year later, he played in a premiership with Collingwood and has been the President of the AFL Players Association since the start of the 2012.

A midfielder with tremendous courage and leadership, at his best, Ball was one of the most consistent and brave ball-winners in the competition.