Widnes Vikings forward Danny Galea has announced his retirement from rugby league.
The 32 year-old made 51 appearances for the Vikings since joining them in 2014 – including 25 last season – and scored seven tries.
Galea announced his decision on Widnes Vikings’ official website saying:
“Today I’m announcing my retirement from the game of rugby league.
“This decision is definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but I think it’s the right time to start the next chapter of my life.
“The last thing I wanted was to let myself, my family and my team mates down on the field by not consistently competing at a high level. I’d like to thank every player, and coaching staff I’ve ever been involved with for making me the person I am today. One of the greatest things about rugby league is the life long friendships you make and I know I have definitely made a few of them.
“I would also like to thank the main people in my life that had an influence, an opinion, or just a pair of ears to discuss this decision I’ve made. Going right back to the beginning my parents have always been my biggest fans and have done a lot to help me achieve so much over my whole career. Last of all I’d like to thank my wife and kids for riding the Rugby League roller coaster and following me around the world while I try to balance my career and family time. Their care and support really is appreciated through the good times and the bad.
“I will always have a soft spot for the Widnes Vikings and the great bunch of fellas that are involved, I couldn’t have asked for a better place to end my career. Thank you.”
Galea’s last game for the Vikings was a 46-4 victory over Wakefield at Belle Vue in September.
Vikings Head coach Denis Betts added: “I’d like to thank Danny for his contribution to our team’s development over the last two years, he’s been a fantastic professional and a pleasure to coach.
“It’s a tough decision to make to hang up your boots, I’d like to thank Danny again for being brave enough to step forward now and not later in the year.
“Good luck Danny and thank you from all the performance staff and players”
Before moving to Super League, the second-rower had two spells with Penrith Panthers – where he began his NRL career, as well as with Wests Tigers and Canberra Raiders.
In total Galea made 185 club appearances since making his debut for the Panthers in 2002.