Emotional AFL fans have flooded social media with messages of support for Alex Johnson after the Swans confirmed they've delisted the injury-riddled defender.
The AFL future for Johnson is now unclear after the heartbreaking news from the Swans.
Johnson had a torrid run with knee problems, undergoing five knee reconstructions before again rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in August while playing only his second AFL match since 2012.
Facing another extended stint on the sideline, the Swans decided not to renew his contract for 2019.
They offered him a non-playing role for next season but Johnson, who played 47 senior games including their 2012 premiership, said he was still keen to play on.
Swans coach John Longmire praised Johnson for the impact he had in red and white.
"Alex has been an incredible servant of our club and has shown unbelievable resilience and he's a much-admired player among his teammates, coaches, staff and wider AFL community," Longmire said.
"This was an incredibly difficult decision to make but the reality is he faced another extended stint on the sideline.
"We explored the possibility of Alex staying involved with the club in a non-playing capacity, but he's keen to explore other opportunities."
Johnson said he was grateful for the opportunities and support from Sydney over the years.
"I would like to thank the club for the opportunities they have given me over the past eight years," Johnson said.
"Although it has been a very difficult last six years I will be forever grateful that they stuck by me and gave me every opportunity to get back and play at the highest level.
"While I am disappointed with the decision, my passion still remains to play football at the highest level."
The news has been met with an outpouring of support from fans on social media.
Can’t help but feel for Alex Johnson not sure if there a player out there who has been treated so harshly by the footy gods. Hopefully he gets into coaching and makes a name for himself— David Carter (@cartz29) September 14, 2018
Feel really sorry for Alex Johnson. @sydneyswans have done more than you feel most clubs would have by him though, and it would have been a tough decision.— Matt Palf 🦊 (@MattPalff) September 14, 2018
Obviously he can’t play and hasn’t been able to for a very long time, but you can help feel sorry for Alex Johnson for being delisted.— Kelly :) (@Kelly_Wade93) September 14, 2018
Alex Johnson has sadly been delisted. What a terrible day.#goswans— Swans Central (@swanscentral) September 14, 2018
My heart is breaking for Alex Johnson #ProudlySydney— Michael Rosser (@mik_rosser) September 14, 2018
Shattered for Alex Johnson, with Sydney not renewing his contract next season. I’d taking a put on him at any other club come draft time this year, or even signing him as a free agent. https://t.co/xlKWEASZuB— Eddie Summerfield (@eddiesummers) September 14, 2018