Brendan Rixon wanted no fanfare after ending his 15-year senior stint at Pirates when he crossed that white line separating rugby players from the rest of us.
But when you played 165 first-grade games for Pirates, winning six premierships for the club, out of seven grand final appearances, that was never going to happen.
I wanted to sort of sneak away.Brendan Rixon
Still, the former Pirates skipper did a good job keeping his retirement quiet, under the cover of the off-season.
And even when Rixon revealed he had "hung up the boots", he seemed slightly uncomfortable over it being reported. "I wanted to sort of sneak away," he said.
"I told everyone I was retiring the year before ," he added, "and I played last year and broke my arm.
"After I broke my arm, I thought, 'I betta not play any more, family's too important' … I've had two broken arms and a broken leg - it sort of takes its toll."
Rixon, the manager of a Tamworth transport company, turns 35 in April. He is married to Elle, a journalist, and they have two children - Oscar, 4, and Arabella, 1.
In all, Rixon played 178 senior games for Pirates, his junior club, between 2001 and 2018.
Rixon and Elle moved to Sydney in 2012, returning at the end of 2015. While there he played rugby for West Harbour and cricket for Wests, while working for a transport company.
He said he was 16 years old when he made his grade debut for Pirates. He went on to make a number of Central North representative sides, and played centre in Pirates' premiership trifecta over the past three years.
He regards the friendships he formed through rugby as the main positive to come from the sport, and, of course, the success. "It will be good to look back on, I guess - we've had a bit of success … But it's all pretty green at the moment.
"That's the important thing for me, the mates that I've got [through rugby]. And they'll be mates for life."
Former Pirates president Stuart Prowse said "Ricko's record stands for itself". "He developed into a natural and enthusiastic leader within the club," Prowse said.
"He was big and strong with silky skills, a good game sense and lots of passion. He overcame a number of significant injuries."
Rixon will lead fourth-placed North Tamworth in their first-grade cricket clash against West Tamworth at Riverside 1 on Saturday. A win would assure Norths a spot in the finals.