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Photos: 250 games of Luke Hodge

250 games of Luke Hodge Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge will play game 250 in the Grand Final against the Sydney Swans.
The word courageous is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as an adjective used to describe someone who's "not deterred by danger or pain", they are "brave".

There is no better word to describe Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge.

The ultimate professional on and off the field, Hodge has led the Hawks with conviction since being named club captain ahead of the 2010 season but was already a leader at Hawthorn before he held the title.

Hodge led by his on-field actions, never once wavering in the face of adversity and living the Hawthorn values, particularly in being relentless in the pursuit of success.

When considering the career of Hodge, pictures of a player flying courageously back into packs come to mind almost immediately.

Of course there's the image too, of his standing in front of Geelong players before the opening bounce of the 2008 Grand Final inviting them to have a crack at his broken ribs.

He went on to win the Norm Smith Medal that day with 26 disposals, nine marks, three clearances, five tackles and a game high eight one percenters.

But it is not just his courage that makes him a great captain and one of the most respected players in the AFL but also his skill, professionalism, hunger to succeed and desire to teach, to pass on his knowledge to his teammates young and old.

It is fitting Hawthorn's leader will reach game 250 in Saturday's Grand Final - the game where each and every player leaves nothing out on the ground and throw their bodies in with little care for injury.

Just the way Luke Hodge has played each and every one of his 249 games to date.

A fresh faced Luke Hodge has hit speed tested at the 2001 Draft Camp in Canberra.

After being taken with pick one in the 2001 National Draft (left), Hodge shows his mum a congratulatory text. He played 15 games in his debut season in 2002 and averaged 15.5 disposals.

He quickly became a much-loved character at Hawthorn where he's made many lifelong friends. He also quickly became one of the game's best players and represented Australia in the International Rules Series against Ireland in 2005.

Respected for his knowledge of the game and his leadership, he developed a close relationship with Coach Alastair Clarkson when he assumed the position at the end of 2004.

Already one of the game's elite and known as one of the most courageous, he underlined that status by winning the Norm Smith Medal in the 2008 Grand Final win over Geelong with broken ribs.

He had two medals and a Cup to show off at the end of that great day for the Hawks.

Always throwing his body on the line, this is a usual site for Hodge who has spent a lot of his career playing with bandages across his head.

He was named Captain of Hawthorn at the end of the 2009 season, taking over from premiership skipper Sam Mitchell. He lead the Hawks into battle for the first time in Round 1, 2010.

He celebrated his 200th career game in the Round 20 win over Port Adelaide in Tasmaina in 2012.

Hodgey is known for his professionalism on and off the field and leads by his actions at the Hawks in the way he trains.

As skipper in the 2012 Grand Final he did everything he could to lead the Hawks to another premiership but we ultimately fell short.

Throughout his career he has been heavily involved in the community and in 2013 he helped with the Tasmanian Bushfire relief.

He has booted 165 goals in his career to date, here he's celebrating a big one against the Swans in the Grand Final re-match in Round 7, 2013.

Now an iconic image, Hodgey celebrates at the final siren of the 2013 premiership win over Fremantle before enjoying the moment with his son Cooper on the hallowed turg of the MCG.

He's a premiership skipper.

Rain, hail or shine, Hodgey is as courageous as they get. This image sums up Luke Hodge and his courage and leadership.

He has already achieved so much as a premiership captain, dual premiership player, Norm Smith medallist, three time All Australian and dual best and fairest winner but what lies ahead on Saturday in his 250th career game and the 2014 Grand Final?