An emotional and bloodied John Bateman has passionately thanked Raiders fans after his two-year tenure in the capital came to an end.
Bateman was on the wrong end of a 30-10 scoreline in Friday's preliminary final loss to the Melbourne Storm, his last in a green jumper before he heads back home to take up a four-year contract with Wigan in the English Super League.
"It's going to be tough [to say goodbye] mate, it's going to be really tough," Bateman told Foxsports after fulltime.
"I just want to say thank you for having me, it's been a pleasure.
"Bit all over the place to be fair mate, it's tough to take."
Bateman missed the majority of 2020 after complications to offseason shoulder surgery, but returned in round 13 against Penrith and played a key role in Canberra's run to the NRL finals.
He became a fan favourite in two years at Canberra, and was crucial in helping to the club to its first grand final in 25 years last season.