Defender Patrick Ambrose has called time on his 88-game career for the Bombers.

The 29-year-old told his teammates of his decision to close the curtain on his career after battling a foot injury in recent months.

Injury has cruelled the popular teammate in the past two years, with Ambrose making just one senior appearance since the start of the 2020 season. 

Ambrose took an unconventional path to the AFL, scrapping it out for Coburg in the VFL before linking up with Old Xaverians.

In 2013, he and his brother Murphy were recruited to Essendon’s VFL team.

Featuring in seven VFL games that year, Ambrose’s impact in a short period was so profound that at the end of 2013 and at the mature age of 22, he was rewarded with a spot on the Bombers’ rookie list.


He quickly became a mainstay in the Bombers' senior line-up, making his AFL debut in round one, 2014 and playing 16 games in his debut season to earn an elevation to the club’s senior list.

When fit, the courageous defender and ruthless competitor was often tasked with minding the opponents’ leading forward. His fearless approach was a standout, seeing him earn the Adam Ramanauskas Most Courageous Player award in the 2017 and 2019 seasons.


Ambrose said he was immensely grateful for the support he received throughout his AFL career.  

“I’m really proud to have worn the famous red and black guernsey for the past eight seasons,” Ambrose said.

“Footy has thrown a lot of challenges and my fair share of injuries, but it was the feeling of running out with my teammates every week that kept me going. In the end I had to be realistic with my ability to perform and train at the level required, which has become challenging after a long journey with this foot injury. 

Patrick Ambrose on debut in round one, 2014. (Photo: AFL Photos)

“I walk away from the game knowing I gave it my all, and now the time is right to hang up the boots. I’m really excited for the next chapter of my life with partner Ali and our young daughter Summer. 

“I wish the boys all the very best for their journey ahead. I’ll miss being around the boys and at the club each day, but we all know it’s going to be pretty exciting to watch this young side in the years to come.

“Finally, to our loyal members and supporters, I want to say thank you for your support of this great club. Stick with us because it will be pretty exciting to be a Bomber over the next few years.” 

Patrick Ambrose has thanked Bombers fans for their loyalty and support. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Senior coach Ben Rutten paid tribute to Ambrose’s contribution to the club.

“We’ll miss Patty at the club, and we thank him for his commitment to the red and black,” Rutten said.

“At his best, Patty was a crucial member of our backline and his elite training standards and diligence with his preparation is something our young players have looked up to.   

“Unfortunately, as we know, he’s had a luckless run with his injuries, particularly in the past two years, but the way he has attacked his rehabilitation and recovery throughout has been in his typical professional fashion. 

“We wish him, partner Ali and their daughter Summer nothing but the best for the next chapter. They know they will always be welcome back home at our club.”