Eorl Crabtree calls time on playing career

Huddersfield Giants’ iconic prop Eorl Crabtree has announced his retirement.

Crabtree, who ends his playing career as a one-club man after debuting for the Giants in 2001, will work in an ambassadorial role within the commercial and marketing operations of the club.

League Express revealed two months ago that Crabtree wasn’t set to be part of Huddersfield’s squad for 2017, with Rick Stone confirming later that the club would assess Crabtree’s options in the off-season.

The 34-year-old ends his 16-season career after having played 423 games for the Giants and 18 for England.

“It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve my hometown club throughout my entire professional playing career,” said Crabtree.

“My head and body are telling me it is time to hang up the boots while still a regular Super League first-teamer. So, having performed for the Giants on the field for nearly two decades, I am gearing up to bring them results in an off-field role in sales and marketing. I’m delighted to accept the invitation to continue working for my native club, who have been so much a part of my adult life.

“While retirement from playing is a major landmark, the bonus is that I can have my nose put back to its original position.”

Giants Managing Director Richard Thewlis added: “Eorl has been an outstanding player for this club and no one should be in any doubt that he ranks amongst the finest professional sportsmen to ever come from Huddersfield.

“His playing record in the toughest sporting league, in physically the toughest position to play, marks him out as someone very special. I would hope that in the years to come he will become the first of the modern Super League Giants to be considered for our prestigious Hall of Fame. He was the mainstay and cornerstone of our pack for years and without doubt a talisman for the supporters to get behind.

“His role changed over the years as the game developed and different coaches had different ideas on how to best utilise his talents. But what never waned was his absolute love and pride in the Giants’ badge and brand.

“I am sure that many coaches and players over the coming days will make their own tribute to the big man and I am personally delighted that he remains at the club within our marketing and commercial functions as it’s an opportunity that he fully deserves.

“It’s a career path he wants to go down and if he can do as well off the field as he did on it then we have a fabulous asset to assist the growth of all our income streams.”