'Old man' Sam Thaiday calls time on NRL career

Laine Clark

Veteran Brisbane forward Sam Thaiday has announced he will retire at the end of the 2018 NRL season - as only he can.

Dressed as an elderly man, Thaiday, 33, called a press conference outside a Brisbane retirement home on Friday to confirm he will draw the curtain on his 16-season career.

Thaiday was told by Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett last year that he did not fit in the Broncos' future plans but the ex-Test and Queensland forward had initially been hopeful of earning another NRL contract.

However, the veteran of 29 Origins, 32 Tests and almost 300 NRL games has finally decided to call it quits - before dressing up as Father Time.

Thaiday donned a grey wig and make-up to look like "me in 40 years' time" before confirming the news outside a Brisbane retirement home and happily mixing with the residents.

He couldn't go out quietly. Pic: Brisbane Broncos

"I've always been a bit different in everything I've done but I've always been true to myself and done things my way," said Thaiday.

"So this is my way of being remembered.

"Because if you don't remember my incredible rugby league resume, how are you going to forget that footy player that announced his retirement dressed up as himself as an old man?"

Thaiday said he had decided to pull the pin to spend more time with wife Rachel and daughters Gracie and Ellsie.

But Thaiday said his focus was still helping guide eighth-placed Brisbane further up the NRL ladder before another premiership tilt.

"I'm definitely one of the lucky ones who has turned a fun game I played as a kid into a job I love as an adult - but my time has come," he said.

Sam Thaiday. Pic: Getty