Soft side revealed in tribute to wife, photos

Joel Selwood will be remembered as one of the toughest footballers to ever grace an AFL field.

The enduring image of his 355 games will be Selwood’s head wrapped in tape and bandages, having been thrown into contest after contest against the best athletes in Australia.

But on Wednesday he revealed the “soft” side that isn’t always visible to the public, but is well known to his close friends and family.

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“I am pretty soft at times. I’m looking at my wife (Brit) here – I do cuddle her, I do love her,” he said to laughs from the crowd.

“I think the boys know that side of me probably in the locker room a lot more, too.”

Selwood then gave everyone an insight into how he almost lost it during the last quarter of Saturday’s grand final – which Geelong won over Sydney – after some choice words from a young teammate.

“I came off in the last quarter, Sam De Koning was on the interchange bench with me on one side, (Mark Blicavs) was on the other side, and Sam just said ‘you can’t finish’ – which is pretty special,” Selwood said as he held back tears.

“A 21-year-old kid probably read the moment. (Blicavs) knew I was in a bit of trouble, the heart was racing and the eyes were watering, and I knew I was going out for the last 15 minutes of my career.

“I am a little bit soft.”

Geelong captain announces retirement

The “soft” side of Selwood was on display on Wednesday as he announced his retirement from the AFL.

While he held it together well for the most part, he was brought close to tears when asked who made his career so special.

“It’s the people you play with. It’s the front row (at this press conference),” he said as tears welled in his eyes.

“And that’s not a stat… well, (Tom Hawkins) is a stat, we played over 300 games together, which is ridiculous.

“I can’t put it into a number for you. I just love playing with the boys.”

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