Hodkinson happy to always be Origin hero

Trent Hodkinson, the hero in NSW's 2014 State of Origin series win, is retiring from rugby league.
Trent Hodkinson, the hero in NSW's 2014 State of Origin series win, is retiring from rugby league.

Retiring Manly half Trent Hodkinson can live with the fact his career will forever be linked to one drought-breaking moment in 2014.

That moment, when after eight years of NSW misery, he slipped through Queensland's defences and brought the State of Origin back into Blues' hands.

"It obviously all happened pretty fast," Hodkinson said.

"It was a great achievement for myself. I was happy with getting the win. The memories are still there and they will forever be there and I am happy with that."

That moment was replayed again on Friday, this time with the commentary blaring out a teammate's car window as Hodkinson began his retirement announcement.

The man himself has been asked it almost every day since, by everyone from journalists to fans.

"It's something I will remember with close friends and family," Hodkinson said.

"That's something I cherish and whenever I have kids one day I will be able to show them what I was able to achieve along with my teammates that year."

Hodkinson's career was about so much more than that moment.

He was the RLPA's rookie of the year in 2010 when he took Manly to the finals series at halfback.

He was also Canterbury's co-captain and pilot when they came from the clouds to reach the decider in 2014.

He played six Origins for NSW and was Newcastle's big signing in 2016, before injuries cut him down and he played just 35 games in his last three years.

Off the field he was also one of the game's most popular players, earning a widespread following when he took an ill young girl to her school formal in 2017.

"A lot of stuff away from footy made me the player I was," Hodkinson said.

The 31-year-old won't get the fairytale farewell he deserves.

A new knee injury has reduced him to just four games this season for Manly across first and reserve grade, with his last NRL appearance in round one.

He made the call last week to stop his pursuit of another season, and is hoping to stay in the game either through the media or in coaching.

"It's come as a bit of a surprise," he said.

"I'm OK, I'm content. I'm happy with the way my career has panned out.

"That old famous knee injury I get linked to had nothing to do with that ... It was a new one

"At the start of the year I did my meniscus and had countless surgical procedures and physio ... unfortunately it didn't work out the way I wanted it to."

Australian Associated Press