Hull FC centre Kirk Yeaman to retire at end of Super League season
Last Updated: 22/09/16 6:00pm
Hull FC's long-serving centre Kirk Yeaman has announced he will retire at the end of this season.
Only 12 players have made more appearances in the club's 151-year history than Hull-born Yeaman, 33, who is set to make his 372nd in Friday's final match of the regular Super League season against Warrington at the KCOM Stadium, where the winners will clinch the league leaders' shield.
The former England international last month became the first player to win the Challenge Cup twice for Hull and he is hoping to bow out by helping them win a first Grand Final at Old Trafford on October 8.
"It was a really tough call to make, it's a tough one to make for anyone," said Yeaman, who is third in the club's all-time try scoring charts with 176 tries, behind only Clive Sullivan (250) and Ivor Watts (216).
"Playing rugby is all I've done since the age of five but, as they say, all good things come to an end. There'd be no better way to finish my career with the year that we've had so far and what we could still potentially achieve.
"It's been something that I've been thinking about for a while. I'm 33 so I'm not getting any younger and my body isn't what it used to be. These last few weeks, particularly after winning the Challenge Cup, confirmed it for me."
Hull coach Lee Radford believes his former team-mate will earn legendary status with his hometown club.
"The records that he holds are a good reflection of the career he's had," Radford said. "The many records he has will put him up there as one of the greatest-ever players to have played for the club and deservedly so.
"He's really rejuvenated himself in these last 12 months and has shown why, in the past, he's claimed international honours.
"I hope he can go out on a high and the stage is set for him to do so with the position that we're in at the moment. It will be sad when he puts his boots up for the final time."
Yeaman says he will take some time out of the game at the end of the season but has already begun talks with the club about an off-field role.