Crio’s Q: Timing Your Departure

Way to go!

It seems Darren Lockyer has been blessed with a fairytale farewell up

in Broncoland.

Others, however, have not left with such grace and glory.

How to call time?

Fortune has not always looked fairly upon those making a “last stand”.

Who’s had the luck or judgement to finish “on song” – or not?



  1. Three immediately spring to mind. all good.

    David Cloke. 8 goals in his 333rd and last match. (He kicked 9 for the season.)

    Johnny Platten. An impossible (for him) 60 metre barrel for a goal after the siren.

    Jason McCartney. important touch in the match-winning goal.

  2. and, conversely, Alistair Lynch let himself down

  3. Bradman’s final innings duck for a 99.96 test average probably has the best mix of poignancy, humility, achievement and an eternal talking point.
    Very few get out while they are ahead and on top. Herb Elliot comes to mind.
    Some like Shane Gould got out early and on top, but not happy because of the pressure and inner turmoil.
    Ken Rosewall had a great Indian Summer in 1974 making the Wimbeldon and US Open finals at nearly 40 years of age, but lost easily to Jimmy Connors both times. He lingered on a few more years so it was probably longevity and grace more than the exit timing I remember. Still 25 years in the World Top 20 from 1952 to 1977 is extraordinary in a sport as physical as tennis.

  4. Leaving too early is just as much a problem as hanging on too long. Shane Gould should certainly have stayed for Munich and possibly Moscow. Because she achieved all her victories in one Olympiad I will never consider her the equal of Dawn Fraser.

  5. Mick Jeffrey says

    The Broncos run is so similar to 2006 when their prop Shane Webcke was in the exact same position as Lockyer is now….and won.

    There are that many players that linger on way too long, and not too many that call it quits at the right time. It’s all to do with dollars rather than sense these days.

  6. Dave,

    Shane Gould currently gravitates between Launceston and the east coast hide away of Bicheno.

    Can often be seen on a surf board off Diamond Island.

    Just one of the locals.

  7. Crio.

    The Colts departure from Baltimore to Indianapolis in March 1984.

    Not handled well.


  8. Alovesupreme says

    It’s almost impossible for a sportsman/sportswoman to pick exactly the right time to go. Dave Nadel correctly suggests that it’s possible to go too soon, and spend a post-career life regretting what might have been by playing on. However, there’s also countless examples of the champion finishing when they’ve over-stayed their welcome.

    Watching Tadgh Kennelly leave the field last Friday night reminded me of so many who have gone before him, out with a disappointing loss. Leigh Matthews and Bruce Doull come immediately to mind. In team sports since only one team wins, and only one other team’s players know in finals matches that this is the end, it’s inevitable that there are far more leave on a loss – inevitably a sour note.

    The only lesson for all is the Wayne Bennett/Wayne Dyer mantra, “Don’t die with the music in you”.

    J.K. Galbraith (1908-2006) concluded his memoirs, memorably. He recounted that he watched the 1980 Democrat convention proceedings from the stands, after a life-time of deeply committed engagement. He made a single contribution on the floor to speak in favour of arms control. Then he returned to the gallery. The final two sentences of the book read:
    “I have noticed that those who write their memoirs have difficulty in knowing when, on public matters, they should stop. The obvious stopping point is when the view is from the stands.”
    If a sports-person can pick that moment – when s/he is now effectively no more than a spectator – it’s definitely time to go.
    J. K. Galbraith “A Life in Our Times” (1981)

  9. Boxers are of course interesting in the category of 1, 2, how ever many, too many, before they stop. Jimmy Carruthers retired undefeated, and after financial problems returned to the ring, and blotted a clean slate. Jeff Fenech with his hand problems, lingered on longer than he should have. Kosyta Tzyu’s loss to Ricky Hatton in 2006 finished a marvellous career, but he never officaily anounced a retirement, meaning there is a small window of chance he could return, though you’d hope not. Roy Jones Jnr went on too long. There is a long list of boxers , whose lure for the big $$ has extended their careesr, often to their physical detriment.

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