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Banned Bomber retires from AFL

AAP logoAAP 8/09/2016 By Jason Phelan

And then there was one.

Tayte Pears' AFL retirement on Thursday left skipper Jobe Watson as the last of 12 banned Bombers to declare his intentions once his doping suspension ends.

Pears has chosen to pursue a career as a firefighter rather than attempt to continue his injury-plagued, 70-game AFL career.

The club announced on Thursday that the 26-year-old had retired after being placed on the order of merit for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

"The challenges of the last few years have inhibited my ability to undertake the demands of AFL football and I feel it is the right time for me to move on with the next stage of life in the best interests of my future," Pears said via a club statement.

"I really appreciate all the support I have received from my teammates, the members and supporters and wish everyone at Essendon all the best for the future."

Pears was one of 34 past and present Essendon players handed doping suspensions by ASADA for their part in the club's ill-fated 2012 supplements program.

Of the 12 who were still at the club when the bans were enforced, Cale Hooker, Dyson Heppell, Michael Hurley, Travis Colyer, David Myers, Brent Stanton, Ben Howlett, Heath Hocking and Tom Bellchambers have all re-committed to the Bombers.

Michael Hibberd has requested a trade, likely to Melbourne, while 31-year-old Watson is mulling retirement.

Coach John Worsfold said on Wednesday that he expects to meet with Watson in the next week or so to determine the club captain's future.

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