Launceston set to farewell Hawks champ Hodge

Published on 09 August 2017

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Launceston is set to farewell Hawthorn champion Luke Hodge in grand style on Sunday in what will be his final game on Tasmanian soil.

City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said he is expecting a bumper crowd for Sunday's game between Hawthorn and North Melbourne at University of Tasmania Stadium.

"What better way to farewell a true champion of the game in Luke Hodge than a packed-out stadium here in Launceston," Mayor van Zetten said.

"Luke Hodge has been a wonderful ambassador both for the Hawthorn Football Club and for Tasmania over the past 15 years.

"I would encourage all football fans, not just Hawthorn supporters, to turn up to say farewell to Hodge in what I think will be a wonderful game between North Melbourne and Hawthorn - the battle of North versus South."

With his footballing loyalties on the line, Alderman Robin McKendrick said he was excited at the prospect of seeing Hodge in his final game in Launceston against his beloved North Melbourne.

"Normally I'd be barracking for Hawthorn at their home games here in Launceston, but with my own side North Melbourne making the trip across the water, I'll be hoping for a Kangaroos win, particularly if Ben Brown can come up after his concussion injury last week," Alderman McKendrick said.

Hawthorn will celebrate Hodge's final match in Tasmania with a special tribute to the retiring champion before the bounce with a giant number 15 guernsey, along with a number of activities, including a pyrotechnics display and a special performance by X Factor winner Isaiah Firebrace.

At half time, there will be a mascot race, with a return trip for two to Melbourne up for grabs for one lucky football patron.

Firebrace will also perform as part of the half-time entertainment.

Hodge, 33, celebrated his 300-game milestone earlier this year against Geelong and in July announced that he would retire at the end of the 2017 season.

He captained the side from 2011 to 2016, and was named in the All Australian team three times - in 2005, 2008 and 2010. He played in four Hawthorn premiership teams - three as captain and won two Norm Smith Medals as best on field.

The game kicks off at 3.20pm and while tickets for the game are selling fast, but there are still tickets available from Ticketmaster.