Philadelphia Eagles fans react to Jason Kelce announcing his retirement from the NFL

"He means a lot to this city. He's been here his entire career and wears his heart on his sleeve."

Jason Kelce

FILE – Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce speaks at the conclusion of the NFL team's Super Bowl victory parade in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Feb. 8, 2019. Jason Kelce has retired after 13 seasons with the Eagles. Kelce officially called it quits Monday, March 4, 2024, at the Eagles’ complex in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

One of the most beloved Philadelphia Eagles in franchise history is calling it a career.

After discussing the possibility of retirement for years, Jason Kelce is hanging up his cleats for good this time, announcing the move in a tearful Monday afternoon news conference.

Fans gathered outside the Novacare Complex to cheer him on.

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“He means a lot to this city. He’s been here his entire career and wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s one of those regular guys, see him out in Havertown all the time. It’s a rough one,” said Steve Profitt of Havertown.

Through tears Kelce thanked his brother Travis, who was seated in the front row, his parents, wife, coaches, teammates and everyone who made him better.

“He was so sincere. I think that’s why so many Philadelphia fans really love him. Just because he’s like one of us. He don’t hide his emotions, he says it like it is. We love him,” said Kim Davies, of Yardley.

Kelce also thanked the city and the fans for that love, and the fun he’s had playing for the Eagles.

“It has always been a goal of mine to play my whole career in one city and I couldn’t of dreamt of a better one,” Kelce said on spending his career in Philadelphia.

One fan even brought a full keg of Miller Lite and waited outside hoping he would stop.

“It’s just fitting, you know. The past couple of years he’s been doing a keg to announce he’s coming back for a year, why not a keg to retire?” said William Helms, of West Deptford.

For die-hard Eagles fans the announcement to retire is something they knew was coming, but say that doesn’t make it any easier.

“Every jersey that I buy is someone that I can wear not only when they’re playing but also in retirement. I’ll wear it proudly for him,” said Frank Poljevka from Lumberton, New Jersey.

“He’s an Eagle, Philadelphia guy through and through and he’s going to be greatly missed,” added Dennis Bouchard from Reading.

Kelce has more ties to the Philadelphia area than just being an Eagle. It’s where he first met his wife Kylie.

“I still remember the moment she walked through the door,” Kelce recalled on the night he met his future wife at Buffalo Billiards.

“Him being able to look back on that night and it be so important to him 10 years later is crazy,” noted Jake Collins, the manager of Buffalo Billiards.

Collins told Action News he was there the night Kelce met the love of his life. He says he even helped the Eagles center out of the bar when he had one too many.

He said through it all, Kelce will always go down as being a class act.

“When people say they met the team, Kelce’s the one they remember,” Collins said.

In addition to fans, Philadelphia sports teams also wished Kelce a happy retirement.

Kelce’s teammate, Brandon Graham, shared his kind words on the retirement.

“I’m going to miss him, but I’m excited for what’s to come because I know he’s going to dive right into whatever it is that’s calling him to do,” said Graham.

The Phillies — along with the Phanatic — congratulated Jason on a storied career.

“Cheers to one heck of a career. Thank you for everything you’ve done for Philly, Jason Kelce. Best of luck in retirement!”

The Sixers were also quick to congratulate the beloved center.

“Congratulations on a legendary career Jason Kelce.”

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The Flyers called Kelce “a true Philadelphian.”

“A true Philadelphian. Congrats on your retirement and a Hall of Fame career, Jason Kelce.”

The Philadelphia Union also shared a photo of Jason beating the iconic drum before the match.

“A Philly and NFL legend forever. Enjoy your retirement, Jason Kelce!”

The Philadelphia Eagles went on to share some of Kelce’s stats: 13 seasons as an Eagle, Super Bowl LII Champion, 6 First-team All-Pro, 7 Pro Bowler, most consecutive starts in Franchise History (156), most regular-season games played by an offensive lineman in Franchise History (193), greatest Super Bowl parade speech of all time.

The Cincinnati Bearcats also congratulated the alum on his career!

“Not bad for a walk-on. Congratulations on a legendary career, Jason Kelce.”

The team ended the message with a goat emoji.

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