Adam Goodes remembered as one of Sydney Swans' greatest

Retiring Sydney star Adam Goodes has been rated the greatest Swan of all by the man whose club appearance record he broke.

Goodes 35, made a low-key exit from the game he has graced since 1999, announcing his retirement to team-mates in the sheds after Saturday's semi-final home loss to North Melbourne.

He eschewed the fanfare of an emotional public farewell out on the field and the chance to be chaired off the ground, like retiring team-mate Rhyce Shaw.

At the end of an epic career and tumultuous season, Goodes leaves the game having chalked up 372 appearances, the eighth highest tally of all time and the most by an indigenous player.

He won two premiership and Brownlow Medals, a Rising Star award, made the All-Australian team four times, captained Sydney and the Australian side in the international rules series and was named in the indigenous team of the century.

"I think he goes down as probably our greatest Swan," said former Swans forward Michael O'Loughlin, whose record of 303 games Goodes surpassed in 2012.

"Thats no disrespect to anyone who has played for us before, but I think the influence and the winning percentage games that he has been able to play, for the longevity.

"Your superstars play for a long time and he's absolutely one of those without a question.

"It was a pretty emotional night."

Sydney coach John Longmire echoed O'Loughlin's lofty valuation of Goodes.

"We've had a few great players over the last few years retire, none as great as Goodesy, no disrespect to the others," Longmire said.

"He's been an absolute icon to this footy club, 18 years, a couple of Brownlows, four All-Australians, he's been a superstar of the game."

After taking a week off following booing from opposing fans at several away matches, Goodes finished his final season in strong fashion.

He was among Sydney's best players in the back-to-back finals losses which denied him the opportunity to become the first Swan to win three premierships.

"The old man finished his season off pretty well over the last month and a half, two months," O'Loughlin joked.