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WATCH: Eagles post EMOTIONAL seven-minute tribute to Jason Kelce including behind the scenes footage, tear-jerking speeches and best moments of his career: You are exactly what an athlete is

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Thank you Jason Kelce

 

The Philadelphia Eagles have shared an emotional video paying tribute to Jason Kelce after he announced his retirement from football.

 

Jason Kelce announcing his retirement

An emotional Kelce broke down in tears at a press conference on Monday as he hung up his cleats after a sensational 13 years in the NFL.

With his brother Travis, wife Kylie and parents Ed and Donna watching on, Kelce took 45 minutes to recall his career and thank those who had helped him reach football’s summit.

The center was drafted by Andy Reid and the Eagles in 2011 and spent his entire career in Philadelphia, winning the Super Bowl with them in 2018.

After his announcement on Monday, the franchise posted a moving video – that is almost seven minutes in length – on social media to honor his legendary career.

It begins with footage of Kelce’s final snap in the NFL – in their wild card round defeat by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs before cutting to his first after being drafted in 2011.

The tribute features plenty of motivational lines from Kelce from his famous team speeches throughout his career.

There is footage of arguably the greatest day in Kelce’s career: the Eagles’ Super Bowl win.

It includes the iconic ‘Philly Special’ play that allowed Nick Foles to score a touchdown and then cuts to Kelce’s famous parade speech dressed as one of Philadelphia’s Mummers.

Footage of Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie paying tribute to Kelce is also in there. In it he says: ‘This guy Jason represents everything that’s great about the Philadelphia Eagles.

‘He’s an unbelievable leader, teammate, proven winner, fan favorite but also like no other athlete we’ve had or rarely seen in the city: someone who really captures the essence of what it’s like to be a Philadelphian.

‘Everyone at the Eagles not only loves you but to me you are exactly what an athlete should be in Philadelphia.’

It also praises Kelce’s work off the field and his charitable work around the city of Philadelphia, particularly with the Eagles Autism Foundation.

There is more footage of Kelce talking about the coaches he has played for before it cuts to more of his inspirational speeches from before games and during games.

It then shows Kelce as a husband, father and brother. He’s seen kissing wife Kylie, playing with his young daughters and then embracing Travis on the field after one of their games.

The moving video ends with Kelce saying: ‘I didn’t look back then and be like “I’m going to play this long” but I think perseverance is something that you have to have and then outside of that I’ve just been lucky and fortunate to play good enough and stay healthy enough to play for a long time.’

Kelce burst into tears before he even started speaking and then finally ended months of speculation as he ended his career on Monday after 13 years in the NFL.

He needed 45 minutes to recount his career from his childhood in Ohio to his final days with the Eagles through tears, laughter and many thanks to his biggest influences before he finally announced he was retiring.

‘I have been the underdog my entire career,’ he said. ‘And I mean this when I say it, I still wish I was.’

An emotional Kelce struggled to get his words out – regularly pausing for long periods and his voice breaking as he tried to hold back the tears.

Speculation first emerged that Kelce would hang up his cleats when the Eagles were eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January.

However, he refused to announce a definitive decision on his future in the weeks that followed, instead supporting brother Travis throughout the postseason as the Kansas City Chiefs eventually won the Super Bowl.

Kelce came close to retiring this time last year but decided to stay on for another season after struggling to walk away – a process that was captured on film in his hit Amazon Prime documentary.

Kelce ended his career by making 156 straight starts, and he earned six All-Pro Team selections. He played 193 regular-season games for the Eagles.

‘It has always been a goal of mine to play my whole career in one city,’ Kelce said. ‘I couldn’t have dreamt a better one if I tried.’

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