IT WASN'T the way it was supposed to end for the VFL/AFL's longest-serving coach.
But, Mick Malthouse, 61, took time to reflect on his career following his sacking by Carlton.
"Firstly I wish to thank the Carlton Football Club for my brief time at the club and I wish the team well for the remainder of the season," he said in a statement.
"More generally, I want to thank the AFL and the wider football community for allowing me to be part of their game, and for their continued support over the past 40 odd years. I have loved it all, the good and the bad.
Malthouse coached 718 senior games, starting with Footscray in 1984, before winning two premierships with West Coast in 1992 and 1994 and another with Collingwood in 2010.
"I wish to thank all the players, coaches, assistants, football staff, presidents, directors, club volunteers, fans and everyone who has helped me and worked with me in my journey in this great game," he said.
"I particularly thank my most recent team which has had to endure more than necessary in this difficult recent time.
"It has been a varied career which has taken me the breadth of this great country and I believe the game, and I, have matured greatly during the past decades."
He passed Jock McHale's coaching record of 714 games in round five, but like all bar one game this season, it ended in disaster for the Blues, who were thrashed by the Magpies.
"This concludes my coaching journey but I will enjoy viewing the game from afar and its progress," he said.
"I particularly want to thank my family who have been resilient and loyal beyond the call of duty at all times. I look forward to enjoying some of the spare time I now have as a family more than ever before.
"To the media I wish you well - despite our constant battlefield......you might even miss me!
"I bear no grudges and I have no regrets. I have achieved some amazing football highs with some wonderful people and endured tough times with great support."
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