ONE of Central West rugby’s most recognizable figures took his last curtain call in the relative obscurity of a second grade grand final on Saturday.
Bathurst Bulldogs’ Paul Miller decided to pull the plug on his playing career before his side’s 27-15 loss to Orange City at Pride Park.
It was an unworthy end to a career, one which has borne first grade premierships and representative honours for the tough and enduring inside centre.
Despite loss, Miller has in a relatively positive frame of mind after the final whistle blew.
“I have to stop, it’s just becoming too difficult,” the veteran said, highlighting a snapped posterior ligament in his right leg as the chief reason for his retirement.
“It’s been great. Playing for Bulldogs has been great and I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
Miller finished his time on the field in a typical manner, with a signature aggressive, barging run in the last few moments of the game sending three City defenders to the turf.
Though a nice sign-off, it was too little, too late for Bulldogs.
A humble Miller paid tribute to the winners.
“Orange City have been the best side all year and they deserve their win.”
“We put everything into this game and we just came up short.”
Miller repeated the sentiments of coach Mitch Lavelle, saying the seasons ahead will be kind to his beloved club.
“The future is bright for the club, I have no doubt about that,” he said.
“There’s a great colts side coming through and there’s a lot of young guys in this team who have stepped up.”
“There’s good times ahead.”