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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles life member Jason King has today announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 National Rugby League Season.
33 year-old King, who has played 235 games of NRL to date, said he was ready to call time on his playing career after 14 seasons at the elite level.
He will depart the game having helped establish the Sea Eagles as the most dominant side of the past decade, a feat that includes captaining his beloved Sea Eagles for a significant part of that time.
"It's not an easy decision to step away from the game I love. I've thought a lot about it, discussed it many, many times with my family and simply feel that it's the right time to hang up the boots at season's end," said King.
"The Sea Eagles are a part of me and will always be. I was a even Belrose Eagle as a young one, so to have had the privilege of playing first-grade football for such a long period of time for my local team makes me incredibly proud.
"The aura that surrounds the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles was built well before my time. People like Ken Arthurson, Bob Fulton, Terry Randall, Geoff Toovey and Steve Menzies come to mind. I hope in any small way over the past 14 seasons I have contributed to keeping this aura alive.
"I've got some fantastic memories and there are some stellar highlights over all these years. Obviously winning the 2008 Grand Final in the way we did, having lost it the year before is certainly up there. So too the 2011 Grand Final, despite not being able to be out there on the field with the boys as well as putting on the Blue jersey of NSW. They all meant a great deal to me and are memories that I will cherish forever.
"To all the people who helped me along the way, I want to take this opportunity to thank you. To the members, supporters, fans, sponsors and staff of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles - I can't thank you enough for the support you have shown me over the years on and off the field.
"To all of my teammates and coaches over the years, I sincerely thank you. To Geof, my current teammates and coaching staff, I'm looking forward to working alongside you all as hard as ever over these next few weeks. We've still got a job to do.
"Lastly, but most importantly, I would like to thank my family; my parents for everything they have ever done for me, guiding me along the way at each corner and especially my wife Jackie and our son William for their unconditional love and support. The time spent with you guys when all this is done is what I will treasure the most, " he added.
Sea Eagles General Manager, David Perry, said: "Jason's leadership over the years has been unquestionable, his service to the Club immense and time given to the game of rugby league second-to-none.
"Jason joins a fine list of local juniors who have played and captained this Club. We thank him for this significant contribution and wish him and his family all the for the future. The Club's doors and gates at Brookvale are, and will always be open for you," said Mr. Perry.
Sea Eagles Head Coach, Geoff Toovey, thanked King for his loyalty and leadership both on and off the field.
"Jason has spent half his life with the Sea Eagles, and has been amazing player, clubman and role-model throughout that entire time," said Toovey.
"He is a wonderful leader and his impact on our Club and its culture since he started is unquestionable. He has lead from the front at all times through his efforts and dedication both on and off the field.
"I want to thank Jason for his contribution to the team and the Club, and we all look forward to trying to send him out in the best possible way in a few weeks time," said Toovey.
At the conclusion of the Sea Eagles 2014 campaign, King will continue with his Law studies while also getting ready to welcome a second edition to his family.
"I‘ll be having a well earned rest to begin with, but I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my life beginning. I will be spending as much time with my family as possible, and focusing on finishing my studies (Law at Macquarie University)," said King.
"That all being said, my sole focus right now is playing the best I can for team during the remainder of the 2014 season. That hasn't changed since I made my debut all those years ago - I just want to win more than ever now," he added.