AFL grand final parade draws Richmond and GWS fans to Melbourne streets

AFL grand final parade draws Richmond and GWS fans to Melbourne streets


September 27, 2019 12:35:00

A sea of yellow and black, with smaller splashes of orange, has flooded Melbourne beneath grey skies as thousands of AFL fans line city streets for the grand final parade.

The city’s hyped football community is showing and shouting its passion ahead of tomorrow’s clash between the Tigers and the Giants at the MCG.

Anticipation is reaching a crescendo, with Richmond dropping a selection bombshell yesterday when it named 27-year-old Marlion Pickett in the side — making him the first player in 67 years to make his AFL debut in a grand final.

The parade began outside the Old Treasury Building at the intersection of Collins Street and Spring Street about midday.

Rob Dominutti, part of Richmond’s official cheer squad, said he had spent about a week preparing his costume.

He said he was confident the Tigers would come out on top.

“We’re lucky that we’ve got a revolving door, now the bad players are going out and the good ones are coming in,” he said.

Meanwhile, GWS fan Sebastian Dell’Orefice had gone for orange hair dye and face paint as he prepared for the march.

“The lightning bolt is a reference to when the Giants beat the Sydney Swans for the first time in 2014,” he said.

“The game was stopped because of the weather and lightning struck. Plus a shameless reference to David Bowie.”

‘People say we’re mad’

Even before the parade crowd began to gather, footy fever was ramping up at the MCG as about a dozen fans camped out to buy exclusive Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) members’ tickets on Saturday morning.

Kathy Parsons was set up with her swag as she told the ABC her husband was coming along to bring her breakfast and sandwiches to keep her sustained during the long wait.

“It’s part of the fun. People say we’re mad but it’s just fun,” she said.

Ms Parsons said she probably attended her first grand final while her mum was still carrying her in the womb and appreciated the way the sport had become more inclusive over her lifetime.

“Before the 80s you had separate ladies’ and men’s tickets. You couldn’t sit on the same level,” she said.

“I’m glad people crawled in and broke those structures.”

Maddison Sims and her boyfriend Miles Stukenborg said they were “exhausted” by the wait but it would be worth it come the big game.

They were joined by Mr Stukenborg’s mother Danielle, who said she had a long family connection to Richmond, with her great-grandfather playing for the team in the 1890s.






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