Spell’s over for Marshall magic

HE has been an inspiration to many and regarded as one of the greatest ever players to represent Wests Tigers but this Saturday, Benji Marshall will play his last game for the club where he kicked off his career 17 years ago.

Having first debuted for Wests Tigers in 2003, Marshall helped the club clinch its maiden premiership victory in 2005 and was inducted as an inaugural Life Member in 2013.
Since then, the Kiwi International has gone on to become the second-most capped player in Wests Tigers’ history with 253 first-grade games for the club.
His 14th season with Wests Tigers will be his last, after the club confirmed the decision to part ways with the 35-year-old at the end of the year.
“I love this club,” Marshall said and putting on “this jersey was something special”.
Wests Tigers Chair Lee Hagipantelis says Marshall has been an incredible servant of the club for close to two decades, “and has had an invaluable impact in shaping who we are as Wests Tigers”.
“Benji’s importance over the years has been seen clearly on field but as of equal significance for our club, has been his presence off it,” he said.
“He is a player and a person that has inspired generations of rugby league fans and I have no doubt that he will go down as one of the greatest ever players to represent Wests Tigers.”
The fleet-footed playmaker – regarded by many as ‘legend’ of the club – made a short-lived switch to rugby union before playing with St George-Illawarra (2014-2015) and then Brisbane (2017).
“As a club, we were thrilled to welcome Benji back to Wests Tigers in 2018 and to see him return in a leadership role in this part of his career,” Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said.
“Over the past two-and-a-half years, Benji has performed as we knew he would on field but the reality with our roster management is that he will not be with Wests Tigers next year.
“This decision is not made lightly with the absolute respect this club has for Benji Marshall,” Pascoe said.
“Whatever Benji chooses to do in 2021 – whether that is playing football or not – will be up to him and I have no doubt he will be a success.”
The Tigers will be hoping to send Marshall off in style with a win when they take on Parramatta on Saturday night.