Beaton also says goodbye

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

Bruce Beaton doesn't want to walk away from football. The thought of not being on the grass field at Commonwealth Stadium this summer is anything but pleasant.

"In my heart I want to play more than anything," he said. But his body is saying it's time to leave.

So, the 37-year-old offensive lineman has officially retired from the Edmonton Eskimos - again.

For the second time in three years, Beaton formally hung up his cleats yesterday while vowing he's not going to change his mind a year down the road.

"This is my last retirement," he remarked. "It was just getting harder and harder (last year) to get my body ready to play every week."

After six knee surgeries through his 12-year professional career, Beaton was only able to play last year by popping anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers.

While Beaton won't have major pain in his brittle knees this summer, he will have to deal with the emotional pain that comes with retirement.

"I don't want to retire," he said.

"I know what retirement is like - not that life is bad because my family is wonderful and living in Nova Scotia is a great thing - but you miss that drama and intensity and all those special things that are unique to football."

After winning a Grey Cup in 2003, Beaton retired from the Esks, but returned last year to win his second championship ring.

Now he'll stay up late in his Maritime home to follow the Eskimos on television this season, even though some games won't start until 11 p.m. in his time zone.

"I'm going to watch every single game," he blurted. "I have a 62 inch HDTV."

LATE HITS: Centre Kevin Lefsrud has also filed his retirement papers ... D'Anthony Batiste has signed with the club, becoming the third import offensive lineman invited to camp. Draft picks Jean-Philippe Abraham and Andrew Brown have also signed ... After brief discussions with TEAM 1260, the Eskimos have agreed to a new radio rights agreement with 630 CHED. Bryan Hall will return to call the games.


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