Australian Football Hall of Fame at MCG - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australian Football Hall of Fame at MCG

By Adam Cooper 04/08/2008 04:26:02 PM Comments (0)

One of the more glaring omissions in sports-mad Melbourne has been righted, as the MCG became the official host of the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

The hall of fame, established by the AFL in 1996 and expanded annually to include the game's greatest, was for several years housed in a building in the city's CBD.

But in a move that will doubtless please fans, the exhibition will be from here on housed at the MCG, regarded as the game's spiritual home.

The hall of fame has been incorporated into the National Sports Museum, which has already attracted more than 70,000 visitors since it opened in March. The hall of fame wing opens to the public on Tuesday.

Football legend Ron Barassi marked the opening by unveiling a display celebrating his former teammate Alex Jesaulenko, who took arguably the game's most famous mark, in the 1970 grand final, when Barassi coached Carlton to the premiership.

Barassi said it was about time the MCG hosted the definitive historic tribute to the AFL and Australian football.

"It's marvellous that the AFL and the MCC (Melbourne Cricket Club) have got together in this way because, as we know, they were parted," he said.

"This (the MCG) is the home of football, (Melbourne) is the biggest city in Australia for sport, so, to me, it's an absolute natural fit.

"So many things have gone on here, with cricket, the American army staying here during the (second world) war, the Olympics - it just goes on and on, the history of this area.

"For football to be part of it, to me, is very natural."

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the MCC deserved credit for establishing the exhibition and that the opening was timely this year, which marks the 150th anniversary since the first game of Australian football was played.

MCC chief executive Stephen Gough said any sports museum at the MCG was incomplete without recognition to Australian rules.

"They've been here for 150 years, so we're delighted we've been able to convince Andrew and the AFL Commission that we could do the job properly and allocate enough space and in the right manner that AFL will get the respect it deserves in this hall of fame," he said.

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