With a tear in his eye and a beer in his hand, Orange United skipper Kurt Beahan took off his footy boots in the Diggings Oval dressing sheds and left them on the seats.
The 33-year-old centre had just lost a premiership with his beloved Warriors, and felt like it was the "right time" to call it a day.
From his junior days in Narromine to his final game with United on Saturday, Beahan's career stretched over 25 winters and produced four first-grade premierships.
While he didn't get the fairy-tale ending he'd hoped for, Beahan reflected on an extremely successful two seasons with the Warriors.
"My role at the Warriors has been about developing young men," he said.
"We started the club so we could give Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men a place to play and grow.
"I want to help these blokes become better brothers, better fathers... I felt like I'd done that. So, there was definitely a sense of satisfaction there."
After a severe shoulder injury brought his St George Illawarra Dragons dreams to a devastating halt in 2007, Beahan returned home.
After moping around the house for a few months, he received a call that changed the dynamic of his career.
"Matt King at CYMS called me and asked me if I wanted to have a run there," he said.
"He was nice enough to set myself and my partner up with an apartment and a job."
Beahan enjoyed his time at CYMS in 2008, but when a family friend took on the coaching role at Mudgee, Beahan relocated to the Dragons and led the Red V to a memorable premiership in 2009 alongside mates Will Kennedy and Steve Lane.
That year's grand-final produced one of his top career memories as he busted Lithgow's defence wide open before giving it off to Corin Smith for a match-winning try.
Beahan returned to CYMS the next winter and linked up with club legend Mick Sullivan, winning three premierships.
He also spent time back in Group 11 while there was a two-year cameo with Blayney, as well.
When he wrapped up his time at the Bears, Beahan picked up the phone and had a yarn with his old mate Jason French.
The duo had previously spoken about creating a community-based club that allows Aboriginal men to find a home through sports and rugby league.
"I said to him [French] 'what do we need to do to get this started?'," he said.
"From then on, we developed Orange United."
Beahan's love for rugby league will never disappear, but he admits to prioritising other things much higher nowadays.
"I've got four beautiful kids and now it's time to let them spread their wings a little bit more," he said.
"I want to be able to get the best out of my babies... it's going to be nice to not have footy every weekend and not be running around on Tuesdays and Thursdays organising training sessions."
He won't lose sleep over what the masses think about him, but if there's one thing he'd like to clear up, it's that he never played for the money.
"I'm not about the money," he said.
"I've never accepted money to play for my culture, and I've never demanded a certain amount of money off a club."
In 2022, Beahan plans to work behind the scenes at United, and hopes to help the club find a new coach and a host of fresh talent.
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