The Golden Lions' Springbok utility forward Wikus van Heerden, who won the World Cup with South Africa in 2007, has called it a day after 14 seasons as a professional player.
Van Heerden, one of the game's true greats, played 14 Tests and was a replacement in the Boks' 15-6 win over England in the World Cup Final in Paris.
The 33-year-old - who started his career as an openside flank, but played mostly lock for the Lions in the last year - had two spells with the Johannesburg-based outfit.
Van Heerden was a member of the Lions' Currie Cup-winning team last season.
However, has been sidelined since he suffered concussion in a spear-tackle by Cheetahs centre Andries Strauss in the first round of the Super Rugby competition in February - an incident which left him unconscious on the field for several minutes.
He won the 2007 Super Rugby title with the Bulls and spent a season with England's Saracens in 2009-10.
With him he takes a unique record as captain.
Van Heerden captained three franchises - the Cats, Lions and Bulls in Super Rugby. He was also skipper of the Golden Lions and the Blue Bulls Currie Cup teams.
"My knees simply won't allow me to go on," he said.
"I thought the break at year-end in 2011 would let me recover fully after my knee operation, but when I was concussed shortly after the season started this year and also had more knee problems, it became obvious that I would have to make this decision at some time."
It was a wonderful career - including a winner's medal with the 2007 World Cup Springboks of John Smit; a Currie Cup title with the Golden Lions in 2011, a wonderful memory that he will always cherish especially after the loss against the Blue Bulls in 2002; 115 provincial matches; 97 Super Rugby matches; and representing his country at both Under-21 and senior level and in 14 Test matches.
Van Heerden began his career at the Lions in 2001. He remained there until the end of 2006 and became a Springbok in 2003, before he crossed the Jukskei River and joined the Blue Bulls.
He played at the Bulls for two years, where his career took off, earning him a place in the winning 2007 World Cup squad. Van Heerden then went to England for a year-and-a-half before returning to the Lions and Golden Lions.
Of his 114 provincial matches, 99 were for the Golden Lions between 2001-2006 and again in 2010-2011, and 15 for the Blue Bulls in 2007-08. He played 20 Super Rugby matches for the Lions (2010-12), 38 for the Bulls (2003, 2007-08), and 39 for the Cats (2002, 2004-06).
Essentially a flank he helped the Lions out when he played lock in 2011 and 2012 - as did his dad 'Moaner', who also started as a loose forward but was soon moved to become a great Bok lock.
Moaner also played for Northern Transvaal and Transvaal, the forerunners of the Bulls and Lions.
"If I could have if all over, I would not have it any other way than how it was," Van Heerden said on Wednesday.
He is interested in remaining involved with rugby.
"It is a passion," he says – and if asked he would consider coaching.
But for now, he first wants to get a little perspective from a distance after an illustrious 14-year career.