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Sad swansong for Spida

By Ben Casanelia 12:27 AM Sat 13 September, 2008

Peter 'Spida' Everitt leaves the field for the last time after the Swans' defeat

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SYDNEY Swans ruckman Peter Everitt fought back tears on Friday night as he told teammates he was drawing the curtain on his colourful 291-game career.

After leaving the MCG for the last time in the wake of his side's 37-point semi-final loss to the Bulldogs, the 34-year-old knew his time had come.

"I pulled it up pretty quick otherwise I would have," he said when asked if he shed a tear.

"I kept it short and sharp."

Everitt, who played 180 games for St Kilda, 80 for Hawthorn and 39 for the Sydney Swans, sat down with coach Paul Roos a fortnight ago to inform him of his decision.

Roos said despite what some said about the former wild child, he was nothing but a positive influence at the Swans.

"We couldn't have been happier with the way he presented himself as a person," Roos said.

"He's just been outstanding at our football club, around the club doing clinics, doing all the team Swans stuff, helping the young ruckmen and helping the players.

"And, really for a guy like that to come in at that age and embrace the footy club … he's a terrific fella.

"He gave us everything we wanted him to and we certainly thank him for that."

Everitt returned the compliment, saying he would stay in Sydney post-football.

"I was honoured to come up here and have a couple of years," he said.

"Obviously it didn't finish the way we would have liked but I wouldn't change it for the world. I've enjoyed it and hopefully stay involved with the Swans somehow in the future."

Everitt's retirement in the second at the Swans, with Ben Mathews announcing his exit from the game last week.

Veterans Leo Barry and Jared Crouch led the side off the MCG in a sign the pair might be planning to call stumps on careers that included the 2005 premiership victory.

Everitt cited a pre-season ruined by injury as the beginning of the end for his own career.

"After my operation through the pre-season it was always going to be a tough ask to come back and play good footy, and I really struggled throughout the year," he said.

"Being 34 you do require kilometres in the legs over pre-season and not being able to do that really put me behind the eight-ball.

"To play 16 games towards the end of the year was good, but it was no surprise because the form wasn't the greatest.

"A couple of weeks ago I sat down with Paul (Roos) and made the decision then.

"I will be staying up north around Sydney, so I consider myself a Sydney person now and would like to be involved somehow.

"I don't know which way yet but I'm sure we'll find something in the coming years."
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