Experienced defender Nathan Brown confirmed his resignation from the AFL in an incredibly touching letter to his teammates in St. Kilda, which was published on the club’s website.
Brown left the club’s Noosa center to return to his family in Victoria. The 31-year-old had not yet appeared as a senior in this campaign.
The 31-year-old has played 53 times for the Saints since signing it in November 2013, after making 130 appearances for Collingwood in 2006.
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In a warm letter to his teammates, Brown wrote: “I feel like I left my brothers in the heat of the battle.”
But he said: “Now is the right time for me, my other team – my girls – to give what I have given football in the past 14 years. You need your father and husband more than ever and nothing can be greater than that. Thank you for your understanding. “
The letter – heartbreaking, touching and equally funny – is fully worth reading.
THE COMPLETE LETTER:
First of all, I would like to apologize for not saying goodbye personally.
I threw and turned all night and thought about it, but I love this group too much and it breaks my heart when I write this because I feel like I left my brothers in the heat of battle .
To look you all in the eye, it would have absolutely destroyed me.
I became a saint in November 2016 and was not nervous.
I didn’t want to be a champion or match winner, I wanted something much simpler – the unconditional love and respect of my teammates.
I hope I earned it in the eyes of just one man. One day you will all learn that the respect of your teammates is the only thing that matters.
You get that and you will be fulfilled.
2020 damn you are an idiot. You completely ruined my farewell tour.
Lethas and Gil had statues and fanfare ready to reveal on every floor.
That was the plan anyway, but you know what – they say you can never choose the way you go – it just happens.
And strangely enough, it would be the same if I really had to choose a time: to be part of a new beginning for St. Kilda Football Club – a new identity, made by players and owned by players.
It is one of brotherhood, blood sweat and tears, freedom and love – pure foot in its essence.
This is the team I am proud to be part of, and this is a team I am proud of because I know that the great people in it will taste the success they deserve.
For my boys, the players.
I had so much fun with you. As Blake (Acres) reminded me daily, I came to the club as an old vet and you all hugged me like a young guy.
While you gave me absolutely everything in the field, you hugged me of it.
The love that you have all shown for my girls means the world to me, and the acceptance and largely patience that you have shown to endure the ‘old dog’ who pulls the clock back several times at night will never be forgotten.
That’s connection right there Rathy haha!
I love you all!
I know that you can also feel that we are destined for something special on the track.
We went through a lot together not to find it. As difficult as it may be here or in the future, please don’t give up and stay together.
It is worth it. When the crowd is gone and the lights are out and you are only arm in arm in the middle of the floor and look each other in the eye with the cup in the middle, it’s all worth it.
That is the moment you are looking for.
For the employees, you are as much a part of this team as the players. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for understanding and leading me to improve. The love and friendship that I have for you is a credit to all of you, not only as professionals but also as people.
Footy is a damn tough guy and I’m grateful to have you in my corner forever.
It’s been a difficult 12 months, and to be able to speak to you with an open heart, words cannot describe what that meant to me. Go to the phys-edders, you crazy bastards.
I will leave you with:
I think life and foot go hand in hand. Ultimately, life is about a journey to happiness. The nice thing about happiness is that it comes in many forms and is completely tailored to you and only you.
The most important part of it is the trip itself. Most people strive for happiness, but get discouraged or frustrated when they achieve nothing, feel shitty, things don’t go their way, or have no idea where they are meant to be or where they are going should go.
But when the same people reach the end of their lives, they almost always say that because of what they have overcome in their lives, they are so proud of who they are. They look back on all the hard things they went through and say I love these moments, I appreciate these moments, those were the times when I felt most alive, I had to fight for what I believed in and what I loved.
You made me what I am.
If there was the most important piece of advice I can give you, then the following: embrace everything you do, good and bad, do not be discouraged. Experiences shape you and let you grow as a person. Learn from them, learn from people who have had many of them, and use them to help you make your next decision.
Find your values and use them to keep you on the ground and up to date if you get lost, but keep growing and adapting to everything life throws at you, and I guarantee To you that you will be proud in the end.
A long-time friend and mentor of mine, Howard Clarke, who was there when I started my trip, taught me this.
He taught me how to be resilient, recover from the setbacks and never give up.
Embrace your trip no matter what it looks like. He taught me about love, love and respect for your opportunities, be thankful for the little things and never forget your family and friends, because when it gets difficult they will unconditionally have your back.
And finally, he taught me to be passionate. Do not be afraid to carry your heart on your sleeve if you really believe in something, are authentic and are not afraid to show your raw feelings. Be proud of who you are.
It is now the right time for me, my other team – my girls – to give what I have given football in the past 14 years. You need your father and husband more than ever and nothing can be greater than that. Thank you for your understanding.
That’s all I’ve got guys, I’ve corrupted you enough. I look forward to seeing you live out your dreams, whatever they may look like, and after all this is said and done, let’s have a few cold beers or maybe a last walking trip.
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