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Ryan King lays down his crown after 8 seasons in green and gold

Edmonton Football Team long-snapper Ryan King is surrounded by photographers as he hoists the Grey Cup trophy after defeating the Ottawa Redblacks to win the 103rd Grey Cup in Winnipeg, Man., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Edmonton Football Team long snapper Ryan King has announced his retirement from the CFL.

“I want to thank the Edmonton Football Club for having the trust and support in me over the past eight seasons,” the 35-year-old said in a statement on Tuesday. “I am forever grateful the memories and time we shared together.”

King lived the dream of a hometown kid.

Born and raised in Edmonton, he played high school football at Bev Facey High School before moving on to play for the Edmonton Wildcats in the Prairie Football Conference.

King would end up with the team he ultimately wanted to play for: the Edmonton Football Team.

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Edmonton Football Team general Manager and vice-president of football operations Brock Sunderland passed on his well wishes for King.

“Ryan King is easily one of the best people I’ve had the privilege to be around in football and in life,” Sunderland said. “His impact in the locker room, on the field and in the community is second to none.

“We wish him all the best in his future endeavors and have no doubt he’ll provide the same character, leadership and devotion he gave to this team for nine years to wherever he goes next. Once. Always.”

Read more: Longtime member of Edmonton Football Team Calvin McCarty retires

King won a Tier 1 provincial title with Bev Facey in 2002. From 2004 to 2007 he suited up for the Edmonton Wildcats as a linebacker. In his final season, King recorded 169 tackles and was named CJFL Linebacker and Defensive Player of the year.

King moved on to USports in 2008 where he played for the Saint Mary’s Huskies in the Atlantic University Conference. In 2009, King was named AUS All-Star and set a school record for tackles in 2010 with 114.

After missing the 2011 season because of a new eligibility rule, King realized a dream of playing in the CFL for his hometown team. He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 CFL Draft by the Edmonton Football Team.

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King would help the green and gold win a Grey Cup championship in 2015. He played 122 games for the team, recording 36 special teams tackles and one forced fumble.

Read more: New Edmonton football coach Jaime Elizondo finds out some days finish better than they start

In 2018, King was recognized by the CFL for his work in the community as he was named the recipient of the Tom Pate Memorial Award which is awarded to a player with outstanding sportsmanship and someone who has made a significant contribution to his team, his community and association.

King started Kings Kids in partnership with KidSport to give some of Edmonton’s most venerable children the chance to attend an Edmonton Football Team home game.

King has spoke on anti-bullying measures through TELUSWise, along with speaking out against gender-based violence through the VOICE program.

He has also flown overseas to Kuwait and Ukraine to meet with members of the Canadian Armed Forces. He was an integral part of the team’s engagement into Northern communities in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories.

King has also been involved with numerous football camps aimed towards kids and remains a member of the executive board of the CFL Players Association.

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