After a decade in the Canadian Football League, Hamilton Tiger-Cats centre Marwan Hage is hanging up his cleats.

"I am incredibly thankful to have the chance to play 10 years in the Canadian Football League,” said Hage. “My career has provided me with a lifetime full of memories and relationships that I will cherish for the rest of my life."

“I look forward to beginning another exciting chapter of my life while continuing to work with the Hamilton community.”

Hage made the announcement at the Sheraton Monday, leaving the Ottawa Redblacks without the veteran presence they thought they would have when they scooped up his rights in December’s CFL Expansion Draft.

A Lebanon native who grew up in Montreal, Hage was Hamilton’s third-round draft pick in 2004, and will expected to retire as a Ticat, in a city where he’s fondly referred to as “The Sultan.”

In his playing career, Hage was a two-time East Division All-Star, and a CFL All-Star in 2010, the same year he was named the East's top offensive lineman.

Off the field, his charity “Hage’s Heroes” has brought more than 5,000 underprivileged youth to Tiger-Cat games since 2007, as well as helping out in food and toy drives around the holidays. Those efforts were recognized by the CFL when Hage was given the Tom Pate award for excellence in the community in 2009.

“Marwan has been a true professional and an exceptional representative of the Tiger-Cats since his arrival in Hamilton,” added Ticats CEO Scott Mitchell. “He has been a tremendous presence on the field, in the locker room and in our community. We look forward to working with Marwan for years to come and congratulate him on an outstanding playing career.”

He won’t be leaving football entirely – Hage remains with the CFL Player’s Association’s executive staff as one of three vice presidents.