It is a moment when tears are commonplace and lumps in the throat are a certainty.

When fans who feel such a part of a player’s journey they have an overwhelming sense of loss when the curtain falls on a glittering career. When a club legend gets the chance to farewell his beloved fans at home it is actually a rare occurrence.

On Sunday afternoon, West Coast superstar Josh Kennedy will say goodbye to the adoring West Coast faithful after 15 seasons. Getting the opportunity for a farewell appearance is a rarity. Scripts do not often fall the right way, but the stage has been set and fans will relive that excitement when JK clunks one on the lead or snaps truly from the pocket.

If you’re weighing up whether to go on Sunday, consider this.

Over the years, West Coast fans have had precious few opportunities to send off their heroes in what they know will be their last game.

In 2014, six-time all-Australian Dean Cox was chaired off Subiaco Oval after a comprehensive 66-point win over Melbourne.

The time had well and truly come for Coxy. The body that carried him around for 290 games, re-modelling the prototype of the modern day ruckman, was starting to fail him. On this day his 15 disposals and 19 hitouts were a sign the moment had arrived and playing against a young Max Gawn signified a changing of the guard.

However, it was a great moment for the club as supporters had the chance to reflect and admire a player who had changed the modern game. A 200cm ruckman so athletic that he became another midfielder. In a small twist of irony, Gawn has carried that baton forward.

A year earlier it was Andrew Embley’s final match. The Eagles were badly beaten by the Crows and missed the finals in what also happened to be John Worsfold’s last match in charge as senior coach.

After 250 games, Embers was always going to be a part of West Coast folklore.

The athletic wingman’s 2006 heroics was in many of the minds of the 29, 416 fans as he was chaired off by his good mates Cox and Darren Glass.

The truth is most players never have the opportunity to retire on their own terms let alone have the good fortune of a send-off game. Injuries, circumstances and finals implications often mean fans never know exactly if it will be a champion’s last game they are watching.

Of the top ten in games played at West Coast, only four have had a farewell match. In many situations it can’t be afforded. Team balance, form and other factors including finals and providing opportunities for younger players can prevent it happening.

In 2004 Glen Jakovich, a four-time Club Champion, decided on the eve of a round eight game against Sydney that he had also exhausted all reserves and would hang up the famous No.27 for the last time. 

Guy McKenna played his last game in front of home fans at the end of a dire 2000 season. The team was beaten by 70 points by a Melbourne side which went onto play in the grand final.

So Eagles fans have an opportunity to embrace a club great by flocking to Optus Stadium as the club  tackles an Adelaide side determined to spoil Josh Kennedy’s swansong.