Hawthorn will farewell Ricky Henderson this week, with the midfielder calling time on his 12-year AFL career.
Henderson, whose 2020 season was cut short by a knee injury, made the decision to retire following the season’s end.
Henderson aged like a fine wine, playing his most consistent football in the latter part of his career. The crafty and versatile wingman played 69 games for the Hawks including a career best year in 2019 which saw him finish second in the club’s best and fairest.
Speaking on his retirement Henderson said he has relished his four years at the Hawks.
“Since the moment I arrived, I loved the change Hawthorn provided and the environment at the club,” said Henderson.
“I’m really pleased to have been able to spend the last few years of my AFL career in the brown and gold.
“I’m happy to be moving into a new chapter of life and look forward to whatever comes next.”
Henderson’s footy career didn’t start like most, at 20 he was working in sports administration and chasing the dream of playing professional basketball, before he was approached by an Adelaide recruiter at an NBL talent scouting camp.
Henderson was then taken by Adelaide as their first pick in the 2008 Rookie Draft, he debuted in Round 5 of the 2010 season and went on to chalk up 90 games across seven seasons with the Crows. At the end of his contract with the Crows in 2016, the Hawks picked up Henderson as a delisted free agent. Henderson will wrap-up his career with 159 AFL games to his name.
Hawthorn Coach Alastair Clarkson had only praise for the departing Hawk.
“Ricky has been on a pretty incredible footy journey, over his 12 years in the AFL, he has ridden the ups and downs of the game with class and professionalism,” said Clarkson.
“He was quick to become a vital cog in our game during his time at the Hawks, and his 2019 season, in particular, is something he should be very proud of.
“Ricky, his wife Jenny and children Rylee and Billy will always be a part of the Hawthorn family and we look forward to seeing their next chapter unfold.”