As the news travels on social media, and the media in general, Carlton fans are stunned at the retirement of one of it’s greatest players and most loved player. Our world reverberated with the announcement from Kade Simpson of his retiring and that the game against Brisbane Lions this week on Saturday night, would be his last.
I was on Blue Abroad this week, and when asked the question about who was my favourite player, I said that for me, the player who gives the game his all, who lays it all on the line for every game, and who may not be a forward or the star of the game, but that player who never gives up or gives in. Who is dynamic around the ground. Who, no matter what is in front of them, whether it be the conditions or the state of the game, they play with heart and soul. That is an apt description of Kade Simpson – Simmo.
For the past seasons, we have seen how this stalwart of a player, wearing the long sleeve jumper, and the number 6 on his back, came out in every game to play his heart out. He plays as if his life depends on it. That ball to the face a few weeks ago epitomizes the type of person and player he is. He got whacked, shook his head, got up and played on. That is the type player that I love and the person that is Simmo.
I always felt that his attitude to the game could affect not only his health but his well-being. The hit to the head by a ball, made me ponder that maybe his time should be up as a player. We have seen him battle his way through no matter what, and given the current status of head injuries and injuries, in general, that could affect a player as they age, I don’t want to see Simmo become a player who left on terms that were not made by himself. I did not want him to retire because he was injured; I wanted him to retire because he felt it was time.
I would have loved him to be a part of a team that raised that 17th Cup, but I don’t think his body could take much more. His heart could; his mind could, but not his body.
Kade Simpson will always be that player that I love in this game. That player who puts on the guernsey and plays for the pride of wearing it. Who still plays his heart out and with the satisfaction of playing for Carlton.
Simmo will always be that player that every upcoming player should try to emulate. He may not have the star quality skills or showmanship, but he has heart, and that heart was for the Carlton FC. He retires with his head, a little bruised, but held high. He goes out with the immense love and respect of all supporters, players, coaches and administrators who know that this quiet, little man gave it his all for the Carlton FC.
I hope Simmo that you achieve so much in your life after retiring from the game. You are one of a kind and for me, the type of player that I love.
From ALL OF US…we thank you, and we will miss you.