Boyd breaks down after emotional tribute

An emotional Darius Boyd admitted it was "hard not to get upset" viewing a special tribute following his last match in the NRL.

Boyd on Thursday night played his 337th and final game in the NRL for the Broncos, who went down to the Cowboys 32-16 at Suncorp Stadium.

The loss for the Broncos handed them their first wooden spoon in club history.

Despite the loss, all eyes on Broncos players and fans were on Boyd who finished the match with 117 run metres, one linebreak and one try to his name, per NRL.com stats.

Darius Boyd

Speaking to Nine after the match, during his interview Boyd was played a special tribute video of former Knights teammate Alex McKinnon and former coach Wayne Bennett, each paying their respects to the 33-year-old.

McKinnon thanked Boyd for speaking out about mental health issues.

"You came into my life when I was only 17 years old and you've taught me so much and use it every single day," McKinnon said.

"You stood up in a time and spoke about mental health when not many people would.

"You should be really proud. I know I am I'm very lucky for you to be a part of my life."

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While Bennett, who coached Boyd at the Dragons, Knights and Broncos, congratulated the fullback on leaving a lasting legacy and overcoming all the obstacles that came during his career.

"There's probably no-one who's had a stronger relationship with coach and player than I've had with you," Bennett said.

"It's been an absolute joy and pleasure to be a part of your life and see the wonderful achievements you have done in this game.

"As you know better than anyone else, the battles you've had to overcome - it's one of the reasons we've been such good friends. I've admired what you've done.

"I've always had your back. I certainly did understand the challenges that you faced and I loved the way you about facing them."

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Responding to the tribute, an emotional Boyd admitted it was "hard not to get upset" as he thanked the game of rugby league for help shaping him.

"It's hard not to get upset," Boyd said after the match.

"I said earlier this week rugby league is a great game, it's given me a lot.

"The most I take out of rugby league are friendships, the people I meet and the man that rugby league has turned me into.

"Very grateful for those two people speaking. My wife, my kids up in the stands, grateful for this game."

Boyd finishes his career having played 337 NRL games, 28 State of Origins for Queensland and 23 Tests for Australia since his debut for the Broncos back in 2006.

He won a premiership in his first year in the top grade in 2006 with the Broncos and then followed coach Bennett to the Dragons in 2010, where he snared another title. Boyd then again followed the coach - who has been like a father figure to him - to the Knights, before finally ending his career at the Broncos where he was a member of the 2015 grand final side.

Darius Boyd

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