Melbourne Demons, Western Bulldogs fans nervous as Perth stadium awaits first AFL grand final

© Provided by ABC NEWS Devout Demons fan Joan Lawson is ready for a win tonight. (ABC News: Rebecca Trigger)

As Perth wakes to its first AFL grand final in the history of the game, today is personal for 82-year-old Dees disciple Joan Lawson, who last watched the cup go to the Demons when she was in her twenties.

“I’ve been a supporter all my life,” the devout third-generation Melbourne Demons supporter said.

“Since I was born, and maybe I was born with a red-and-blue spoon in my mouth.”

After moving to Perth in 1973, she said having her team play the premiership in her home town was “surreal”.

More than 61,000 football fans are set to descend on Perth stadium this afternoon, ready to devour 9,000 kilograms of chips, about 23,000 pies, 6,000 pieces of fish, 14,000 chicken wings and 7,000 hot dogs.

More than 2,500 staff will be working at the stadium.

The company supplying much of the food said it had never received an order of that scale before.

The WA government has made every bus and train available to get fans to and from the game for free, with more than 500 extra staff working.

From muddy pitch to slick stadium

Ms Lawson fondly remembers her beloved Demons taking the cup in 1964 and suffered through their defeat in 2000 at the hands of Collingwood.

“It’s hard to believe and I just sort of pinch myself,” Ms Lawson said.

She said much had changed since 1964, when the Demons took out their last premiership.

“They were bigger guys then, because they all had day jobs,” she said.

“So they would come to the MCG, where they trained after work.

“It’s a totally different game to what it was.

“They played in mud in those days too, because the MCG, of course, is a cricket pitch, and it was just glug in the middle.

“The banner you ran out [through] was down the race and it was like plaited crepe paper, … and that’s what they came through.”

Wanneroo café draped in red, white and blue

Over in the Bulldogs camp, born-and-bred Dogs supporter, Taylor Moore, does not have the same memories of the muddy MCG, but his excitement is just as palpable.

He was there in 2016 when the Bulldogs beat the Sydney Swans by 22 points and he feels incredibly lucky to witness them play in another grand final, this time in Perth.

“It was something I could never have believed, but here we are,” he said.

Mr Moore’s family ties to his team make him a fourth-generation supporter.

“Dad was born in Footscray, our grandparents were born in Footscray, my great grandpa [Park Krygger] actually played a game for the Bulldogs back in the ’20s,” he said.

“It was only the one game before he broke his leg – but still!”

In the lead-up to the grand final, he has covered his Wanneroo café in the colours of his team to try and bring a bit of Footscray to Perth.

“It would be foolish to not decorate my cafe in red, white and blue,” he said.

In a city where neither of its home teams are playing, Mr Moore said customers had mixed reviews of the decor.

“Look, there’s been a lot of sledging,” he said.

“I’m sure they’d rather see some purple and white or some blue and yellow … but for the most part it’s been well received.”

In celebration, his café has also been offering free coffees to Western Bulldogs members, plus a special meat pie footy deal.

For other football fans across the country, but particularly in Perth, today involves adopting one of the Victorian teams to help get into the spirit.

East Perth resident Daniel Smee, who lives just a stone’s throw from the stadium, was excited for the atmosphere game day would bring to his neighbourhood.

“I’ll just be sitting on the deck and enjoying East Perth, waving to all the people as they go past,” he said.

His wife Mary is a mad Dockers supporter, but more so a fan of the game itself, so much so she decorated their house in both teams’ colours.

“Even though she goes for the Dockers, she just loves watching football and she will go to as many games as available, so she is in heaven right now,” Mr Smee said.

Former Premier wants to see Perth host again

The grand final fever has also infected the man in charge of building Perth’s state-of-the-art sport arena.

Former WA Premier Colin Barnett said he knew the stadium would attract a grand final at some stage.

“But I certainly didn’t expect it to happen so quickly, and I’ve got to say, in quite sad circumstances given the situation in Melbourne,” he said.

Mr Barnett said those watching the final from interstate and overseas would notice the landscape around the stadium, and he expected thousands who missed out on tickets would enjoy all the festivities around the ground.

Meanwhile, on top of the game and all its excitement, he said the fans inside the stadium would enjoy the cup holders for all the beer they are set to drink.

“That was my suggestion,” he said.

Mr Barnett said he thought it was “short-sighted” of the AFL to commit to the MCG for so many decades and he hoped the grand final would get sent around the country in the future too.

“That would be good for the game nationally,” he said.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Fans on social media react as Newcastle are linked with Ross Barkley

Newcastle United have lucrative resources for transfers in January after their takeover by Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, so they’re being linked with ... Read more »

On Annual Research Day, PGIMER to showcase 576 abstracts; 58 on Covid

© Provided by Hindustan Times The PGIMER authorities said 576 abstracts of which 58 pertains to research on Covid-19 would be showcased during the institute’s 8th Annual Research Day. (HT File/ ... Read more »

CTU bus snuffs out biker's life in Chandigarh

© Provided by Hindustan Times The victim was rushed to Government Mult-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, where he succumbed to his injuries. (HT Photo/For representation only) A CTU bus claimed the ... Read more »

No new Covid case in Mohali again, five test positive in UT, Panchkula

© Provided by Hindustan Times Visitors disregarding the need for masks and social distancing at a fair organised on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti in Sector 24, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. ... Read more »

Decomposing body found in Ambala drain

© Provided by Hindustan Times The body was found in a drain along National Highway 44 in Ambala, police said. (HT Photo) The decomposing body of an unidentified person was found ... Read more »

Amusement parks allowed to reopen in city from tomorrow, water rides to stay closed

© Provided by The Indian Express Further relaxing lockdown rules in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), as per the directives of the Maharashtra government, has extended the timings ... Read more »

Onset of winter monsoon on Oct 26, says IMD

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday said the onset of winter (northeast) monsoon in peninsular India is likely to start ... Read more »

How To Refinance a Mortgage

© xavierarnau / Getty Images Smiling gay couple with pug looking at computer monitor at desk. If you are a homeowner and currently have a home mortgage, you may be ... Read more »

Alternative Energy Bitcoin Mining Company Debuts IPO With Higher Stock Prices

© Just_Super / Blockchain technology stock photo Bitcoin mining company Stronghold Digital Mining, which has environmentally beneficial operations as it’s powered by coal refuse sites, debuted its Initial Public ... Read more »

What's in, and what's out, as Democrats trim Biden bill

© Provided by Associated Press Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic lawmakers join activists in support of solutions to climate change as part of President Joe ... Read more »

What Does Joe Manchin Do Now?

© Stefani Reynolds / Bloomberg / Getty The Democratic Party’s push to protect future American elections from GOP suppression and subversion is once again largely in the hands of the ... Read more »

UK courts helping serve Prince Andrew with legal papers over US sexual assault claims, documents reveal

Documents have emerged that reveal the UK courts are assisting in the serving of US legal papers notifying Prince Andrew of a civil sexual assault case against him. © PA ... Read more »

Segway's ‘Mecha Kit' turns your transporter into a rolling turret

© Photo by Segway-Ninebot If you ever wanted to transform your self-balancing scooter into a mobile mini mech, now you can with Segway-Ninebot’s Mecha Kit add-on. The kit is compatible ... Read more »

21 Years Later, Heroes Of Might And Magic 3 Gets An Official Board Game

Heroes and Might and Magic 3 is a titan of its era, and it’s long overdue for a board game adaptation of its own. Ubisoft has granted an official license to ... Read more »

Inflation on course to reach 5% despite surprise dip last month

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo Inflation looks set to top 5 per cent this winter even after a surprise fall last month. Official figures yesterday showed the ... Read more »

Blair Kinghorn named in Scotland squad as a stand-off and will vie with Ross Thompson for 10 jersey against Tonga

Gregor Townsend will ring the changes at stand-off for Scotland’s opening match of the autumn against Tonga at the end of the month. © Blair Kinghorn has won 25 caps ... Read more »

Human remains discovered in the search for Brian Laundrie

Human remains have been found in the hunt for fugitive Brian Laundrie, the 23-year-old fiancé of murdered Gabby Petito, five weeks after he went on the run in an alligator-infested ... Read more »

Champ highlights, round-up: West Brom beaten; Fulham win

West Brom lost ground on Championship leaders Bournemouth as Jamie Paterson’s superb strike secured Swansea a 2-1 comeback win. Karlan Grant’s goal after just 52 seconds gave the visitors a ... Read more »

Britain and New Zealand strike free trade deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and New Zealand have reached agreement in principle on a free trade deal designed to reduce tariffs, improve services trade, and take London one step closer ... Read more »

Giant hail and flash flooding hit NSW North Coast

A freak weather event has hit the NSW North Coast, bringing giant hailstones and flooding to the region. The storm has devastated Toormina in Coffs Harbour, with homes and buildings ... Read more »

The Undertaker spotted in Saudi Arabia ahead of WWE Crown Jewel

© GiveMeSport The Undertaker has been spotted in Saudi Arabia The Undertaker is in Saudi Arabia, it has emerged, with just one day until WWE puts on its Crown Jewel ... Read more »

Jim Jordan says he can't recall how many times he spoke to Trump Jan 6

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said Wednesday he can’t remember how many times he spoke to former President Donald Trump on Jan. 6th – ... Read more »

Human remains found in search for Gabby Petito's missing partner

Detectives have found “what appears to be human remains” at a Florida park along with several items appearing to belong to Brian Laundrie, the missing fiancé of Gabby Petito. FBI ... Read more »

Olivia Culpo struts around Beverly Hills in a Kelly green knit number

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo She’s no stranger to making a fashion statement. And all eyes were on Olivia Culpo as she stepped out in Beverly Hills wearing ... Read more »

Inflation warning: Cost of living to rise as wage growth drops - Britons urged to act

Inflation figures released today showed CPI fell from 3.2 to 3.1 percent but in recent months, the Bank of England (BoE) warned it could rise to over four percent by ... Read more »

Tori Spelling has VERY heated phone conversation

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Tori Spelling appeared to be having a very intense phone conversation outside a lawyer’s office as rumors of a split continued to swirl ... Read more »

Abortion pill providers are fielding high-volume requests from Texans who want to safely terminate their pregnancies

© Peter Dazeley/Getty Images Peter Dazeley/Getty Images More patients from Texas are asking abortion providers about a pill to end their pregnancy since the rollout of SB8. SB8 is a ... Read more »

Manchester United vs. Atalanta result: Ronaldo goal caps epic comeback win

Manchester United looked done. But down 2-0 to visiting Atalanta at halftime, the Red Devils found a way to overturn the result and claim a big 3-2 win that revives it’s ... Read more »

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 booster shots given the all clear by FDA

© Getty Images/iStockphoto iStock-1298127433.jpg The Food and Drug Administration has authorised booster shots of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines and says people can get a different shot than ... Read more »

Chelsea v Malmö: Champions League – live!

© Photograph: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC/Getty Images Kai Havertz of Chelsea scores their team’s third goal. LIVE – Updated at 21:53 Minute-by-minute report: The European champions are looking for a second ... Read more »

‘Her life matters': Family and friends of murdered radio personality Gaby Ramos hold candlelight vigil

© Enrique Limón Friends and family of Gaby Ramos place floral bouquets and balloons at a makeshift altar outside the slain radio personality’s home on Tuesday, 19 October. – Enrique ... Read more »

Why DID doctors tell the Queen to cancel?

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The Queen was last night ‘reluctantly’ under doctor’s orders to rest after undertaking 19 official engagements since the start of the month. Although ... Read more »

RN breakfast host Fran Kelly quits mornings after 17 years

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Veteran broadcaster Fran Kelly has announced she is signing off from ABC Radio National’s breakfast show after 17 years.   ‘I’ve got some breaking ... Read more »

18-year-old Fati agrees new contract with €1 billion release clause

© Alamy Stock Photo Ansu Fati file pic . ANSU FATI has extended his contract with Barcelona until 2027, the club announced on Wednesday, shortly after their 1-0 victory over ... Read more »

Pitch invader was absolutely desperate for Cristiano Ronaldo's shirt after heroics vs Atalanta

© GiveMeSport A pitch invader tried to meet Cristiano Ronaldo after his heroics vs Atalanta Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero for Manchester United once again as they came back from ... Read more »

Harry Maguire challenges Man United backline to ‘sharpen up' after Atalanta win papers over defensive cracks

© Manchester United via Getty Imag Manchester United v Atalanta: Group F – UEFA Champions League Harry Maguire challenged Manchester United to tighten up at the back after relying on ... Read more »

NICKMERCS to host Apex Legends Gauntlet featuring $50,000 prize pool

© Provided by Dot Esports NICKMERCS is set to host an MFAM Gauntlet Apex Legends tournament with a $50,000 prize pool later this month, the popular streamer announced today. NICKMERCS ... Read more »

Dembele fires Posh past Hull

© PA Peterborough ended a run of six consecutive away defeats with a 2-1 victory at fellow Sky Bet Championship strugglers Hull. Darren Ferguson’s men were second best for most ... Read more »

Beirut clash fires up sectarian anger in echo of civil war

Lebanon War Redux (Copyright 2021The Associated Press. All right reserved) He was only a year old when his panicked father picked him up and they fled with his mother from ... Read more »

Rotunda maternity hospital announces restrictions on partners attending the hospital to end fully

The Rotunda Maternity Hospital is to relax all remaining restrictions on partners attending the hospital in the next two weeks. The hospital announced it would be returning to ‘pre-Covid access’ ... Read more »