A player who has won premierships, been involved in numerous State of Origin campaigns for NSW, while also playing 16 Test matches for the Kangaroos, Luke Lewis will bring down the curtain on a celebrated career after today announcing his retirement from the game effective at the end of the 2018 season.
Having played 315 NRL games, 107 of those for the Sharks, Lewis was the complete professional on and off the field and will be remembered as somebody teammates wanted to play alongside.
Lewis reached the summit of the game in winning two premierships, to go with his numerous representative appearances for State and Country, won a Clive Churchill Medal as the best player in the Sharks Grand Final victory of 2016, after also playing an integral role, at just 20-years of age, in the Panthers success of 2003.
With still seven rounds and potentially finals remaining for the Sharks in 2018, he will get his chance to reflect on what has been a wonderful career, while teammates and coaches will have an opportunity to provide their personal tributes, however in choosing to announce his retirement in typically modest fashion, Lewis declined a press conference, preferring to inform the rugby league world of his decision on his weekly stint on the NRL 360 program on Fox Sports.
In sharing the decision with Sharks media, Lewis wanted to mainly thank family, friends and the fans who had combined to make it an enjoyable journey.
"It's been an awesome 18 years and I've loved every minute of it. I'll retire with great memories," Lewis began.
"My family and friends have obviously given me great support over the years, I've made long-time and what will be life-long friendships, with people in and around the game but also outside of footy. And I also want to give a massive thanks to the fans.
"I've had fantastic support, not just at the Sharks, not only when I was at the Panthers, but from rugby league fans in general, people who have always supported and stuck by me. I couldn't have got to where I am now without them.
"Growing up in the area and playing for Penrith was a huge thrill for me and I'm thankful for the years I spent at the Panthers and I'm grateful for the opportunity to come to the Sharks six years ago.
"Playing in a Grand Final at the Sharks and to win the first premiership in the club's history, the mates I've made while I've been here, it's something I'll hold close for the rest of my life," Lewis added.
Lewis will be looking to return to the field and the Sharks team in the coming weeks after continuing his recovery from a calf strain.
His inclusion should provide a boost to the Sharks in the run to the finals.
DOB – August 11, 1983
Junior Club – Blacktown City
Rep Honours - 17 Origins games for NSW, 16 Tests Matches for Australia, 1 All-Stars game, 5 City Origins NRL games – 315 (2001 – 2018)
NRL games Sharks (2013-2018) - 107
NRL games Panthers (2001-2012) – 208
NRL Debut – Panthers v Storm, Panthers Stadium, round 24, 2001
Sharks NRL Debut – Sharks v Gold Coast, Shark Park, round 1, 2013