On the eve of his 150th game for the GIANTS, inaugural co-captain Callan Ward has become the first playing Life Member of the club.

Ward was awarded Life Membership by GIANTS Chairman Tony Shepherd at the WestConnex Centre on Friday, acknowledged for his contribution to the club both on and off the field.

The 28-year-old is the first player to play 150 games for the club, reaching the milestone just five rounds after the club achieved the same mark in Round 14 earlier this year.

Ward becomes just the second Life Member of the club, following in the footsteps of inaugural GIANTS coach Kevin Sheedy who was recently elevated to Legend status in the AFL Hall of Fame.

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Mr Shepherd paid tribute to Ward’s significant contribution to the GIANTS after joining the club in 2011.

“Callan is part of the fabric of this club and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him,” Mr Shepherd said. 

“He, along with Phil Davis, are two of the longest-serving and most outstanding leaders in the game. 

“Callan’s durability and commitment to his team is unquestionable and we’re so proud of the player, leader and man he has developed into during his time with us.

“To become the first playing Life Member of the club is a tremendous honour and another reason why Callan’s name will always be etched in the history of our club.”

Ward said he was proud to be presented with the honour.

“This milestone snuck up on me to be honest, but it means a great deal to me and my family,” he said.

“I think it almost means more to me than to play 200 AFL games. 

“From where we’ve come from to where we are now as a club, it’s an amazing honour to be just a small part of building this club.

“It’s not something many people get to do, and I’ve been privileged to lead the GIANTS for the past seven seasons.

“To become the first playing Life Member of the club is something my family and I will no doubt look back on with incredible pride in the years to come.” 

Ward joined the club at the end of 2011 after 60 games for the Western Bulldogs. He became one of three inaugural co-captains of the GIANTS in 2012 at the age of 21 and incredibly has missed just four games in seven seasons for the club. 

He was named the inaugural Kevin Sheedy Medallist as GIANTS Club Champion in 2012 and was a Virgin Australia All-Australian nominee in 2014 and 2016. 

After reaching the 200-game milestone in Round eight this year, Ward has enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2018; averaging 27 touches and four tackles and playing every game. 

On Friday the GIANTS also announced the club has reached 25,000 members for the first time in history, setting another membership record this season. 

Ward will run out for this 150th club game when the GIANTS take on St Kilda at Spotless Stadium at 4:35pm on Saturday.

GIANTS members and fans will be able to pay tribute to Ward with a special presentation on-field post-match.