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3 days ago
GREG Bourke has pulled down the curtains on a record-breaking career, announcing he will retire after winning this year?s Queensland Wizard Cup premiership with Redcliffe.
The goal-kicking centre leaves the Wizard Cup as the competition?s all-time leading scorer, having amassed 1150 points in 141 matches.
During seven seasons in the statewide competition he represented the Cairns Cyclones, Burleigh Bears and Wynnum Manly Seagulls before spending his last two years with the Dolphins.
Prior to that he played in the ARL and NRL competitions with the Balmain Tigers, Eastern Suburbs Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys.
This year?s grand final win was Bourke?s first since playing for his hometown Ballina in 1993.
?There?s no better time than now to hang up the boots,? Bourke said today, having given lengthy consideration to the matter.
?I?m really happy with the decision. I?ve achieved what I wanted.?
Only this year Bourke overtook Damien Richters (1030 points) as the Wizard Cup?s all-time scorer.
He also won the award as the Leading Points Scorer for 2006, totalling 188 points in the regular season and 24 points in the finals. At Redcliffe?s presentation night he was announced as the club?s Best Back.
Redcliffe CEO James Hinchey paid credit to the veteran for his stunning contribution, both to the club and competition.
?One of the reasons Greg joined us was to win a premiership and I?m really glad he could do that in his last-ever game,? Hinchey said.
?He had a great year. I?d like to think we got the best out of him and he left on the best note possible.?
Bourke says he is unconcerned that long-time sparring partner Reggie Cressbrook (1089 points) could overtake his mark in season 2007.
?I?m happy to have set the record. Who knows, Reggie could play forever,? Bourke joked.
Employed in casino security, Bourke will retire with his wife and two children to Pimpama, north of the Gold Coast.
He joins Adam Starr and Gerard Parle as members of the Redcliffe premiership team to have since announced their retirements.
After initially signing with the Dolphins for 2007, former NRL and Super League cult hero Mark Tookey has also retired.