Ben Smith stands true to the Eels

Ben Smith

Ben Smith

BIG Ben Smith has had a big, brilliant career.

Last week the 29-year-old announced his career would be ending.

He will retire at the end of the year as a one-club man, having played a decade in the blue and gold.

After his debut in 2004, the Werris Creek junior has been a mainstay of the Eels team.

In 2005, Smith had a breakout year scoring 14 tries in the centres as Parramatta won the minor premiership.

Four years later and Smith was again a vital part of the Eels' charge to the grand final; this time as a back rower.

His versatility has been a major asset throughout his career, which reached the 150-game milestone last week.

Asked to nominate a highlight of his career, Smith said: "The career is not over.

"I'll wait until it's over to reflect on my career. Hopefully there are more highlights to come."

It's that selfless approach which has made him one of the most popular teammates since he made his debut against Melbourne in 2004.

Injury has restricte him to only 24 games in the past three years, so he has treasured every moment in the blue and gold.

"Being my last few games I'm just enjoying it. I'm enjoying sitting in the sheds and watching the boys. I have a different perspective of it," he said.

"And I'm just making the most of it while I can because I know it's not going to be around much longer."

Smith went out a winner in at Pirtek Stadium on Friday. The Eels' 22-12 win against Manly puts them into the top eight with games against Newcastle and Canberra in the final two rounds.

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