'He had it': Jack Watts opens up on AFL retirement bombshell

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jack Watts is pictured playing for Port Adelaide in the AFL.
Jack Watts has announced his retirement from the AFL, after a 173-game career. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Jack Watts' polarising AFL career has ended in frustration, with the former No.1 draft pick retiring.

Watts has called time at Port Adelaide, succumbing to the toll of recovering from a horror leg injury which prevented him playing this season.

'SOMETHING’S GONE WRONG': AFL stunned by Ben Brown 'disaster'

‘DAYLIGHT ROBBERY’: Anger over 'staggering' AFL snubs

Watts was taken by Melbourne with pick No.1 at the 2008 national draft.

But the precocious talent became a whipping boy at the Demons, with many fans believing he never lived up to hype of being a No.1 draft selection.

After playing 152 games at Melbourne from 2009 to 2017, Watts was traded to Port Adelaide, which gave up pick 31 for the utility.

He managed 21 games for the Power but suffered a graphic injury last March, breaking his right leg and dislocating his right ankle when trapped in a tackle.

The injury followed a torrid off-season when lewd text messages he allegedly sent to a woman were leaked online.

Soon after, a video emerged of the 28-year-old snorting a legal menthol-based powder from a woman's chest at the infamous Oktoberfest in Munich.

Jack Watts retires from AFL, citing ‘mental and physical’ toll

The 29-year-old retired on Thursday, citing the mental and physical toll of trying to recover from his injury as a major factor.

"I have been thinking long and hard about my future for a while and contemplating retirement," Watts said in a statement.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

"Since my injury, I feel my body has let me down and I have been struggling with the physical and mental requirements of getting back to the level of fitness that is required at AFL level.

"It feels like the right decision for me to step away and look for new challenges in the next phase of my life.

"I feel lucky to have had 12 years in the game and while there have been some challenges, there have also been some amazing memories both at Melbourne and Port Adelaide.

Jack Watts high-fives Melbourne Demons fans in 2011.
Jack Watts has announced his retirement from the AFL at 29, after a lengthy career with Melbourne and Port Adelaide. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

"I'm not sure what the future holds just yet but I'm looking forward to some time away from the limelight."

Port coach Ken Hinkley said Watts was misunderstood by the wider football community.

"We all know Jack's football ability, and we would have liked to have seen him on the field a lot more for our club," Hinkley said.

"People might not realise just how important and loved he is around our playing group because of his character.

"Jack always has a way of lifting everyone's spirits, even when things weren't going so well for him in the last couple of years."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting