AFL grand final: Former Melbourne Demons coach Neale Daniher revealed as inspiration for premiership victory

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Mitchell WoodcockThe West Australian
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Neale Daniher posts a photo of him celebrating Melbourne's big win at the AFL Grand Final 2021
Camera IconNeale Daniher posts a photo of him celebrating Melbourne's big win at the AFL Grand Final 2021 Credit: Neale Daniher/Instagram/Neale Daniher/Instagram

It could well be the most heartwarming photo of Melbourne’s drought-breaking premiership victory.

Melbourne great Neale Daniher posted to social media tonight a picture of him celebrating his beloved Demons’ victory while at home in Melbourne.

Daniher coached Melbourne in 223 games betwen 1998 and 2007, taking them to the 2000 grand final.

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He has since become Australia’s figurehead for Motor Neurone Disease, an illness he was diagnosed with in 2013 and has since gone on to raise millions of dollars to help battle through his charity, Fight MND.

The smiling Daniher could not make it to Optus Stadium to be one of the more than 60,000 people to witness Melbourne defeat the Western Bulldogs, but he had been supporting them the whole way, even penning them a letter this week in the lead-up.

Demons captain Max Gawn revealed Daniher had a massive impact on their performance tonight.

“I’ll let you in on a little secret. Neale Daniher’s quote was posted all around our walls tonight,” Gawn told Fox Footy.

“It’s ‘When all is said and done, more is said than done’ and it’s about how we talk and we talked lots this year about how we culture changed, our selfless approach, how Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca were balancing.

“We talked that. It was our time to deliver and that’s Neale. That’s exactly what he said to us and that’s what I said in my captain’s speech.

“Neale was living through us tonight.”

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