AFL retired and current players come to Deniliquin for Toyota Good For Footy Tour.By Tyla Harrington
The sun was shining but it was the stars who came out to play on Tuesday afternoon as hundreds of adoring fans of all ages packed the Deniliquin South School oval to meet their AFL Heroes.
Current St Kilda superstars Lenny Hayes and Leigh Montagna joined recently retired AFL legends Cameron Ling, Mathew Richardson and Michael O’Loughlin on the Toyota Good for Footy Tour.
Hosted by AFL commentator and former VFL goalkicking champion Brian Taylor, the AFL champions happily ran skills clinics, handed out merchandise, signed autographs and posed for photos.
Local fans also had the chance to have their photo taken with the official replica AFL Premiership Cup.
South School principal Greg Danckert said it was a great afternoon.
‘‘I think all the kids went away happy with their signed autographs and some with footballs that were handed out by the players.
‘‘There was a good mix of Deniliquin schools represented as well.’’
For die-hard St Kilda supporter Alicia Tangey and her mother Miriam Milddlemiss it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rub shoulders with mid-field stars Hayes and Montagna.
Alicia jostled her way through the crowd to have her photo taken with the duo.
‘‘I thought ‘just grip on and don’t let go’,’’ she said with a laugh.
And mum Miriam shared her joy.
‘‘When you support a team for more than 40 years it’s an incredible feeling to meet some of them in real life.’’
For Geelong fanatic Bradley Knight (pictured), who took the afternoon off work, meeting premiership captain turned media commentator Cameron Ling was a dream come true.
He had his guernsey signed by the two-time premiership hero as he rolled up his sleeve to proudly show Ling the Geelong emblem he has tattooed on his arm.
‘‘It was awesome (meeting Ling),’’ he said with a big smile.
The Toyota Good for Footy Tour is an extension of the Good for Footy program — an initiative that sees football clubs benefit from funding from their local Toyota dealer.
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