Three-time Richmond premiership defender Bachar Houli has retired from the game, effective immediately.

Houli played 232 AFL matches, including 206 at Richmond, where he arrived via the pre-season draft prior to the 2011 season, after four years and 26 games with Essendon.


Houli will be remembered as an ultra-consistent performer that thrived in the biggest of games.

The 33-year-old produced three memorable Grand Final performances in each of his premiership victories, finishing runner-up to Dustin Martin for the Norm Smith Medal in both the 2017 and 2019 triumphs.


Houli also fought valiantly throughout the 2020 Grand Final to complete the game despite sustaining a significant calf injury early in the match.

The defensive dasher’s consistency across his full career at Richmond is evident through top 10 Jack Dyer Medal finishes in seven of the past 10 seasons.

Houli was an All Australian during the 2019 premiership campaign, a season where he averaged 28 disposals and 4.8 rebound 50s per game.


Off the field, Houli’s legacy at Richmond will live on for many years to come, with the Bachar Houli Foundation, which Houli founded, building young leaders within the Muslim community.

Based out of the Swinburne Centre, the Foundation aims to support social cohesion by fostering young Muslims with a sense of belonging through sport.

The first Bachar Houli Program, launched in 2013, was the first Muslim Football Academy in Australia. It has since reached over 35,000 participants nationally and will continue to expand.

Houli said his 15-year journey in the AFL had gone by quickly.

“I have been fortunate enough to play at two great clubs, and to be a part of the history of this game,” he added.

“Not only did I want to play as many games as possible, but I wanted to educate Australia, about my faith (and) about the religion of Islam, the religion of peace. I hope I have left a sense of peace in everyone’s heart.

“I sincerely thank the Club and the AFL for allowing me to be me.

“Thank you to the (entire) Richmond Football Club, from Peggy, to the Chief (Brendon Gale), to the amazing Tiger Army... for allowing me to be a part of this amazing organisation.

“It’s time to go fishing, Tiger for life.”