Collingwood defender Tom Langdon has retired after an 18-month struggle to overcome a chronic knee injury.

The elegant half-back was one of the best afield in the 2018 grand final but was injured only nine matches into the next season and, ultimately, was unable to return.

Langdon, 26, took time at the end of the season to consider his prospects before coming to the conclusion that he could not continue.

Langdon played 89 matches across seven seasons with Collingwood. His selection, with pick 65 in the 2013 national draft, was inspired. He played 41 of a possible 44 matches in his first two seasons and became a feature of the Collingwood backs group with his deft intercept marking and composure.

Versatility was also a strength of his game. At 190cm he was a natural ‘third tall’ defender but his range extended to assignments on the likes of Robbie Gray, Lance Franklin and Jack Darling.

Collingwood GM of Football, Geoff Walsh, described Langdon as an understated character who did little to draw attention to himself other than to position himself in the right spot more often than not.

“Tom played some wonderful football for Collingwood and it was a sad day when the reality of his premature retirement arrived,” Walsh said.

“We saw him work incredibly hard to get back. He pushed himself through so much pain to keep his hopes of a comeback flickering. Given his talent and application, his finish is a cruel football story.

“We’re all confident that Tom will make a success of the next phase of his life and we wish him well.”