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Former Super League Champion calls it a day

Welsh international Ben Flower has today announced his intention to retire from professional rugby.

The Leigh Centurions prop made his debut for Crusaders back in 2008 and helped establish the Welsh outfit as a Super League side even taking them to the play-offs in 2010.

Following their relegation in 2011, Flower was poached by Wigan and was moulded into a magnificent and potent prop by coach Shaun Wane. That year, Flower was key as Wigan finished top and the following year he figured as the Warriors won the double.

He won a further two Grand Finals with the Warriors in 2016 and 2018 both of which came against Warrington at Old Trafford. They came after two consecutive Grand Final defeats to St Helens and Leeds in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Once more as the Warriors impressed in 2020, he featured but missed the Grand Final defeat through injury before joining Leigh.

His time at the Centurions has been up and down with a number of absences keeping him out of the side. Unfortunately, he was unable to keep Leigh in the league and has made the decision to call it a day now that the season is just about to close.

Today he made his intentions known on Instagram and thanked all those who helped form his brilliant career: “Well it’s that time I think all players dread to talk about and this is mine. It’s finally my time to call it a day in rugby league at the end of the season an to say it’s been a blast is an understatement. For all the injuries and knocks it’s all been worth it.

“As a kid you never think this day will come when you become a professional. But unfortunately it does. But Firstly I think I need to start off by thanking my beautiful family, Laura and my boys for always being there in the tough times an celebrating with me in good times. Most of my career I’ve been a grumpy git on game day so I’m very sorry for all that !! Now that weight is off my shoulders hopefully I can relax a bit more.

“Dad thank you for taking me up an down the country as a kid which made me get to where I am today. Thank you for everything. Secondly I want to thank the teams Crusaders Wigan + Leigh and also all my coaches who have invested there time into me over these last 14 seasons. I’ve been honoured an privilege to have walked away with many trophies with my long spell at Wigan warriors. Which I can’t thank Shaun Wane and all the staff enough for.

“But I think the most thanks needs to go to the lads who I played along side with for so many years. I can honestly say there’s a few legends in all that and friends for life. Boys you all know who your are an thank you for being by my side on an off the field.

“To all the fans from all the clubs who supported me an the teams over the years an to the ones who stuck by me in my darkest days. I’m very grateful for all this.”

Unfortunately he’ll always be remembered for the incident in the 2014 Grand Final when he became the first player to be sent off in the decider for punching Lance Hohaia.

Tomorrow, Leigh will finish their season with a trip to Huddersfield.

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