For any NRL player, they know when the time is right to retire and for Manly Sea Eagles prop Jason King, that time is now.
The veteran prop will hang up the boots at season’s end and admits that the decision was not an easy one.
â€œItâ€™s not an easy decision to step away from the game I love. Iâ€™ve thought a lot about it, discussed it many, many times with my family and simply feel that itâ€™s the right time to hang up the boots at seasonâ€™s end,â€ said King.
â€œThe 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.
â€œThe 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.
Along the way, King has played in and won numerous grand finals and made representative appearances and after a stellar career, he was quick to thank all those involved throughout.
â€œTo 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 canâ€™t thank you enough for the support you have shown me over the years on and off the field,” said King.
â€œTo all of my teammates and coaches over the years, I sincerely thank you. To Geof, my current teammates and coaching staff, Iâ€™m looking forward to working alongside you all as hard as ever over these next few weeks. Weâ€™ve still got a job to do.
â€œLastly, 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.”
Loyalty is often a dying art in rugby league but coach Geoff Toovey praised King for staying with Manly for such a long period of time.
â€œJason has spent half his life with the Sea Eagles, and has been amazing player, clubman and role-model throughout that entire time,â€ said Toovey.
â€œHe 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.
â€œI 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,â€ said Toovey.
With his rugby league career set to cease, King has his eyes on both spending time with his family and on his law degree.
“Iâ€˜ll be having a well earned rest to begin with, but Iâ€™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),â€ said King.
â€œThat all being said, my sole focus right now is playing the best I can for team during the remainder of the 2014 season. That hasnâ€™t changed since I made my debut all those years ago â€“ I just want to win more than ever now,â€ he added.