Loyal Pie stands tall

Maxwell among AFL stars to hang up the boots in 2014

LET'S face it, Collingwood isn't travelling the best at the moment. 

And as much it pains me to admit, the Magpies may struggle for the remaining six games of the season. 

Then, just as I was getting over the embarrassing loss to the Bombers, Nick Maxwell announced his retirement. 

The former Magpie captain will be hanging up the boots after 208 games. 

Punters and commentators can criticise Maxy all they like but there isn't many players who can call themselves premiership captains. 

Maxwell will never be known as the greatest player to pull on the black and white jumper, but he will be remembered for always having a crack and giving his all.

He can proudly leave the game knowing that he gave everything and more to the Collingwood Football Club.

Maxwell's career began as a rookie after several clubs rejected him.

He defied the odds to become a key figure in the Pies' backline for several years. 

He defied the odds to became a key figure in the Pies' backline

Then in 2009 he was named an All-Australian and was second in the Copeland Trophy - it was arguably his best season for Collingwood. 

He was one of the game's best defenders, he could play tall or short and always managed to play the the third-man in role better than anyone. 

Then in 2010, his best moment. 

After a dramatic draw to St Kilda in the last week of September, the Pies won the premiership. 

Maxwell stood tall and held the premiership cup aloft, it was a sight Pies fans had been waiting 20 years for. 

It is my favourite moment and one Collingwood fans will remember forever. 

He was never a favourite with AFL fans but for those at Collingwood, they knew how passionate and how important he was to the side. 

Maxwell loved the battle and enjoyed proving people wrong. 

He gave everything he could to the club, Sunday's game against Essendon typified his resilience.

The 31-year-old injured his ankle and continued to play. 

Scott Pendlebury summed it up best when he said every current Collingwood player walked taller and became a better player because of Nick Maxwell. 

He proved the haters wrong and has become a Pies great. 

Maxwell now joins a growing list of AFL greats who have retired in 2014. 

Brisbane legend Jonathan Brown called time on his impressive career after he suffered several injuries. 

West Coast champion Darren Glass also retired and earlier this week St Kilda star Lenny Hayes announced he would retire at the end of the year. 

All four players, all different, were leaders at their respective clubs and have made their marks on the AFL.

Let's hope the Pies can be inspired by Maxwell's legacy and finish the season off on a high. 

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