Heighington to retire at season’s end

Chris Heighington will bring down the curtain on his celebrated career at the end of the 2018 season.

With 334 games to his name and rising, the 36-year-old has announced this year will be his last.

"A lot of ex-players told me I would know when it's time, but I haven't felt that feeling yet, but I do know the pre-seasons are long and another year is a big ask," Heighington said.

"I want to go out on my terms. I'm still playing injury free and I don't want to be greedy.

"I could try and continue to play but I risk picking up a bad injury or slipping in form, so I feel it's my time to move over and let one of the young boys come in."


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Heighington is the third most capped forward in the history of the game only behind Cameron Smith and Corey Parker and currently the eighth most-capped player overall.

A quality person and teammate, the nib Newcastle Knight will be remembered as one of the great workhorses.

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Knights General Manager Football, Darren Mooney, was with Heighington at all three of his NRL Club's and said it's no fluke the forward has reached the heights he has.

"For me, it's no secret Chris has played as many games as he has," Mooney said.


"The way Chris prepares to play and train, along with lifestyle he lives, is the reason why he has spent 16 seasons playing NRL"

"Not only is he a true professional but he's a leader. Chris makes the people around him better. Whether that's on or off the field and that's the greatest compliment you can give."

Having made his first-grade debut for the Tigers in Round 1 of the 2003 season, he won his first NRL title in 2005 under Tim Sheens.

He spent 10 seasons at the joint venture.

During that time, he became an international.

It was 2011 when he was selected for England and would go on to make seven appearances in the red and white jersey including a 2017 World Cup finals appearance.


Moving to Cronulla in 2013, Heighington won his second premiership in 2016.

He made 116 appearances for the club and pulled up his 300th NRL game last year.

"The two premierships are big highlights," Heighington said.

"In 2005 at the Wests Tigers, no one expected us to win it. We weren't one of the rich Club's, but we got on a bit of a roll and we delivered the Wests Tigers thirst premiership.

"It was the same for Cronulla. We weren't expected to win it but we went on a 16-game winning streak and won.


"When you start playing footy, you dream of playing in the NRL but to win a premiership is beyond a dream. I got to do that twice. It was pretty special and something I will remember for the rest of my life."

Heighington joined the Knights this season and has acted as a great mentor to the young forwards earning their stripes.

A tough and uncompromising forward with a strong worth ethic, not only was Heighington an international, but he also represented the PM's XIII, Country NSW and was an NRL All Star.


Chris Heighington

Date of birth: January 14, 1983
Junior club: Umina Bunnies
Previous clubs: Wests Tigers, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Games: 201 for Tigers, 116 for Sharks and 17 for Knights* (and counting)
Tries: 42
Premierships: Two (Tigers in 2005, Sharks in 2016)
Rep honours: Prime Minister's XIII 2 games, NSW Country 2 games, All Stars 1 game, England 7 games.