A visible mind Josh Reynolds he was forced to stop the post-game interview several times after playing his last game on Saturday.
The Canterbury Bulldogs The brand was announced this week the club’s NSW Cup game against North Sydney at the Belmore Sports Ground will be his last.
He had a week earlier resigned from the Bulldogs’ NRL squad to allow the club to secure young player Toby Sexton from the Titans, but revealed his retirement was already in the back of his mind before Sexton was selected.
“It was an easy decision for me; I was sick of stopping people,” Reynolds told Fox League.
“I thought to myself about it… I wanted to come back here and do what’s best for the team.
“Today’s training is a different beast and I like to think I’m still King Kong and I can come in every day and match these guys, but I can’t.
“It was nice to do this for someone, and I hope I can continue to contribute to the club in any way I can.”
Reynolds grew up in the area around Belmore, and remembers jumping over fences as a child to watch his heroes play and coach.
“You know there’s nothing like (Belmore),” he said.
“I’ve had the best memories here, I started when I was seven years old and played my last game, to be able to finish here today in front of people who have been there all this time. … it was special.
“I love this place.
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“I was always jumping over fences… I grew up down the street from my nan’s house, and we lived in the neighborhood all the time.
“I didn’t want these guys to beat me today; I wanted them to win the badge… It means the world to me.
“This place does, this community does, and I will always be grateful for what everyone has done for me.”
Belmore Hill was renamed Josh Reynolds Hill – as was the case at the end of 2017 when he left the club to join the Tigers.
The NSW Cup game was preceded by a first-team clash with the Broncos, and many of the 17,000 sell-out crowd turned up early to watch Reynolds’ final game.
The crowd erupted midway through the second half as Reynolds took a dig at himself and ran down the field.
He was chased by Bears defenders at half-way point.
“I wasn’t lucky,” he laughed.
Even though the shutout wasn’t what they wanted — the Bulldogs were outscored 30-6 — the crowd cheered when they got the win.
Belmore’s corner was filled with his family, close friends and supporters. He spent a lot of time with them all, and took a great group picture.
The group was also selling specially designed Prince of Belmore shirts.
Bulldogs fans continued to celebrate Reynolds’ career after Canterbury’s clash with Brisbane, with Bulldogs and Broncos players also joining in.
“It was an amazing week,” said the club legend.
“I wanted to compete on my back, but I can’t anymore.
“There comes a time when you just have to accept it, but I’m glad I finished it here and there.
“They call me Elton John; I’ve had a lot of submissions… (But) that’s all he wrote.”
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