Peter Grant bids his farewell to Stormers fans at Newlands in July 2014. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Peter Grant bids his farewell to Stormers fans at Newlands in July 2014. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant takes on the defence in typical fashion. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/Independent Media
Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant takes on the defence in typical fashion. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/Independent Media
Peter Grant slots another kick through the posts in 2012. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/Independent Media
Peter Grant slots another kick through the posts in 2012. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/Independent Media
Peter Grant carries the ball up against the Waratahs at Newlands in 2012. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/Independent Media
Peter Grant carries the ball up against the Waratahs at Newlands in 2012. Photo: Matthew Jordaan/Independent Media

CAPE TOWN – “You guys have been awesome! I am really going to miss the thrill of kicking a conversion from the corner, making that final pass, that crunching tackle on the advantage line at the back of the lineout, running out under the lights to the sound of a full house and finally seeing the joy on your faces after the final whistle.”

That was the final word from former Springbok and Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant, who announced his retirement from rugby on Wednesday.

Grant, now 34, had his hand forced by “too many bumps to the head”, with his latest scan for a concussion picking up a “few minor irregularities caused by trauma to the head”.

Grant has been turning out for the Western Force and Perth Spirit in Perth – where his parents reside – over the last few years after a celebrated career at the Stormers, Kobelco Steelers in Japan and La Rochelle in France.

“My season as a professional Rugby player has come to an end and I need to say goodbye to this great game that has been my life and that I absolutely love,” Grant said in a statement on his social media channels on Wednesday.

“It’s been an incredible journey. One which has shaped me. The friendships, travels, wins, losses, tours, hotels, sweat, tears, beers, discipline and hard work.

“Unfortunately it’s not on my own terms, but I’m no spring chicken, so I can accept that my time wasn’t too far round the bend.

“After I suffered my second concussion of the season, I had a scan and consulted a neurologist as my symptoms were taking a lot longer to subside.

“Unfortunately the scan picked up a few minor irregularities caused by trauma to the head, which he then sent for a second opinion. Both specialists were of the same view that it was time to call it a day.

“I simply have taken too many bumps to the head, and it would be reckless and selfish of me to continue to put my body on the line when I have so much time ahead of me and so much to look forward to.

“It’s been a tough pill to swallow, but looking back, there’s so much to be thankful for and I am now getting excited for what lies ahead.”

Grant was a stalwart for the Stormers when they reached the Super Rugby semi-finals under Allister Coetzee in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – losing the 2010 title decider to the Bulls at Orlando Stadium.

Having been a Natal schoolboy star and educated at Maritzburg College, Grant moved to Stellenbosch University in 2003, and went on to become a household name at Newlands.

His unerring goal-kicking boot won him many fans at Newlands, as he was consistent and often slotted touch-line kicks.

He became a bit of a folk hero in Cape Town for his rock-solid defence as well, and at times came up with a silky touch on attack too.

Grant won five Springbok Test caps between 2007 and 2008, with his last international coming against Australia in Perth.

He played for Kobelco Steelers from 2010 to 2014, where after he moved to La Rochelle in France before settling in Perth at the Western Force.

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My season as a professional Rugby player has come to an end and I need to say goodbye to this great game that has been my life and that I absolutely love. Unfortunately it’s not on my own terms, but I’m no spring chicken so I can accept that my time wasn’t too far round the bend. It’s been a tough pill to swallow, but looking back there’s so much to be thankful for and I am now getting excited for what lies ahead. I just want to thank our Lord for blessing me with this season in my life, for being with me every step of the way. Thank you to my beautiful wife, for believing in me, supporting me through thick and thin, and bringing the best out of me. I couldn’t have wished for a better teammate to tackle life. Thanks to my kids, Nova, John and Luke, for being my biggest fans and giving me such purpose and strength. And keeping me extra fit!! To my family and friends who have followed me over the years, thank you for all your support and constructive criticism. Mom and Dad, thanks for putting a rugby ball in my hands. Thanks to all my teammates who I have shared the field with and have helped create so many memories. And to all you legends I’ve played against, it was a real fight out on the pitch, but I’m going to miss those post match beers for sure. Thank you to all my coaches, medical staff and team management. You have all played a pivotal role in my growth as a player, and a person and I am grateful for the wonderful friendships we have developed. And last but not least. A huge thank you to my faithful fans and loyal sponsors. From Cape Town, to Kobe, to La Rochelle and to Perth. You guys have been awesome! I am really going to miss the thrill of kicking a conversion from the corner, making that final pass, that crunching tackle on the advantage line at the back of the line out, running out under the lights to the sound of a full house and finally seeing the joy on your faces after the final whistle. Thank you, Arigato gozaimashita, Merci beaucoup, Cheers.

A post shared by Peter Grant (@petergrant10) on

“Thank you to all my coaches, medical staff and team management. You have all played a pivotal role in my growth as a player, and a person and I am grateful for the wonderful friendships we have developed,” Grant added.

“And last but not least. A huge thank you to my faithful fans. From Cape Town, to Kobe, to La Rochelle and to Perth.

“You guys have been awesome! I am really going to miss the thrill of kicking a conversion from the corner, making that final pass, that crunching tackle on the advantage line at the back of the line out, running out under the lights to the sound of a full house and finally seeing the joy on your faces after the final whistle.

“There is so much I’m going to miss, but I honestly feel I embraced it and I enjoyed every part of it because I constantly reminded myself that this day would come.

“Thank you, Arigato gozaimashita, Merci beaucoup, Cheers.”

@ashfakmohamed


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