Bombers denigrating AFL legend: McGuire - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers denigrating AFL legend: McGuire

By Sam Lienert 01/04/2010 08:09:33 PM Comments (0)

Essendon will review a decision to rename the Coventry end of Etihad Stadium the Lloyd end for their AFL home games after Collingwood president Eddie McGuire accused them of denigrating a superstar of the competition.

The Bombers will go ahead with the plan for Sunday's match against Fremantle, when they will cover the Coventry sign, erected in honour of five-time Magpies premiership great Gordon Coventry, with one honouring their own retired star Matthew Lloyd.

But, after an angry reaction from Collingwood, officials from both clubs will meet with stadium management next week to discuss a potential compromise for future Bombers' home games.

Coventry, who played in the 1920s and 1930s, was the first AFL/VFL player to reach 300 games and the first to kick 100 goals in a season.

His career tally of 1299 goals has been surpassed only by former St Kilda and Sydney great Tony Lockett, who booted 1360 majors, and after whom the opposite end of Etihad Stadium is named.

McGuire said Lloyd's career, which yielded 926 goals, should be celebrated, but not at a legend's expense.

"Why denigrate one of the superstars of the game? We don't go to the MCG on the weekend and pull down the Jim Stynes Room and call it the Eddie McGuire Room, we don't cover the Ponsford Stand and call it the Peter Daicos Stand," McGuire said on Melbourne's SEN radio.

"... I'm not having a hissy fit for the sake of it, what I'm saying is there are ways of doing everything. Why do we have to upset people?"

Essendon chief executive Ian Robson initially said his club would not be backing down, as their fans wanted the venue to feel like their home for the seven games they hosted there this season.

But the Bombers released a statement later on Thursday, saying they had agreed to a meeting next week to discuss the matter.

Former skipper Lloyd will run a lap of honour before Sunday's clash with Fremantle, accompanied by 299 fans, equal to his goal tally at the stadium.

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