Knee injury forces Williams out

ESSENDON forward Mark Williams has announced he will retire from AFL football due to a degenerative knee injury.

The 28-year-old said his decision to hang up the boots was a difficult one but was grateful for his experiences at both the Essendon and Hawthorn football clubs.

“I am grateful for the career I have had at Essendon and Hawthorn and the opportunities that football has given me,” Williams said.

 “I would have loved to have been able to keep playing and while my injuries have not allowed me to do that, the experiences that I have had - including a Premiership at Hawthorn - far outweigh that.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for the support they have provided me throughout my career - my wife Belinda and children Mia and Kobe, all my team-mates, coaches, support staff and of course my family – thank you for everything you have done to allow me to pursue my AFL career for the past 11 years.”

Williams played a total of 115 games for Hawthorn and Essendon and was a member of Hawthorn’s 2008 Premiership side and twice topped Hawthorn’s goalkicking list to finish with 247 career goals.

Essendon general manager of football operations Paul Hamilton congratulated Williams on a successful AFL career.

“This is obviously a difficult decision for Mark but he should be enormously proud of his achievements throughout his career,” Hamilton said.

“Mark will be remembered as a 100-game player with a remarkable natural football ability who could prove damaging in front of goal."

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