The ANZAC Day blockbuster between Collingwood and Essendon has become one of our biggest national sporting events.
The extraordinary support of Collingwood and Essendon members over many years has built the event into one of Australia’s greatest sporting traditions.
The ANZAC Day match pays tribute to the sacrifice of the servicemen and women of Australia and celebrates the ANZAC spirit – courage, sacrifice, endurance and mateship.
For the past twenty two years the two clubs and the AFL have worked closely in partnership with the RSL to appropriately highlight the contribution of Australians who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations around the world.
Whilst no comparison is made between war and football, the game provides a platform to highlight the spirit of Anzac, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice – qualities that are a part of our sense of national identity.
The AFL, the clubs and the broadcasters work closely with the RSL regarding the presentation of the match. The traditional Veteran’s Motorcade will take place prior to the observance ceremony and the commencement of the game.
The AFL and the clubs also make a significant donation to the RSL from the gate receipts in addition to collections at the match and any other fundraising initiatives.
Over the past twenty one years the ANZAC Day clash between the Magpies and the Bombers at the MCG has become the biggest club match in Australia’s biggest national sport - second only to the AFL Grand Final.
Each year over 90,000 people attend and millions watch on television.
This year’s blockbuster will be the 23rd annual clash between the two clubs since the tradition began with the memorable 1995 drawn match played in front of 94,825. The rivalry now stands at 13 victories to Collingwood, 8 victories to Essendon and a draw.
That first match still represents the second biggest home and away crowd in AFL history, behind the 99,346 fans that saw the 1958 Queen’s Birthday clash between Collingwood and Melbourne at the MCG.
The motorcade of veterans prior to the commencement of the game includes those currently serving along with returned veterans and returned nurses and servicewomen.
Collingwood Activations in 2017
This year it is an away game for Collingwood however we have a great deal of activity happening at the match.
Presentation of Match Footballs
Representatives from Collingwood and Essendon present the footballs to the umpires on the MCG.
Collingwood’s representative in 2017 is the family of Tommy and Len Worle.
Tommy Worle played three games for Collingwood in 1907 and Len Worle played four games with Essendon in 1912. Tommy was killed in action in France in 1917 whilst his younger brother Len served in both World Wars and survived.
100 years after the death of Tommy Worle, Victor Stewart the Grandson of Len Worle, will represent
Collingwood and the Worle family in presenting the footballs to the umpires.
Tommy joined up in January 1916. At the time he was married to Elsie and was living at 22 Langridge Street, Abbotsford near Victoria Park. He embarked from Melbourne on May 20 1916 and landed at Plymouth two months later. After further training he was sent to France where he was a Sergeant in the 8th Brigade, Australian Field Artillery. He was killed in action near Armentieres on the 31 July 1917 - the very first day of the Third Battle of Ypres (Battle of Passchendaele.)
The Battle of Passchendaele was one of the most horrific of the war – if not all wars – and part of the major British offensive in Flanders in 1917. It was planned to break through the strongly fortified German defences at Ypres with the intention of sweeping through to the German submarine bases on the Belgian coast.
The battle comprised of a series of disastrous and costly offensives, often undertaken in terrible waterlogged conditions as a result of frequent rain and intense artillery bombardment. As the opportunity for a breakthrough receded, the British Field Marshall Haig saw virtue in maintaining the offensives, hoping in the process to drain German manpower through attrition.
In eight weeks of fighting Australian forces incurred 38,000 casualties. The combined total of British and Dominion casualties was estimated at 310,000 (estimated German losses were slightly lower.) No breakthrough was achieved.
Tommy Worle was buried in a cemetery at Nieppe.
Len Worle served in both World Wars – as bombardier with the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade in both Gallipoli and France during World War I. Later, at the age of 53, he enlisted in 1942 and served with the Volunteer Defence Corps 2nd Battalion. He passed away on 10th October, 1948.
Collingwood in the Motorcade
This year Ray Jones, who played 26 games for Collingwood from 1946 to 1948, will take part in the motorcade of veterans.
Ray served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1943 to 1946, as a gunner on several ships including HMAS Australia, HMAS Horsham and the HMAS Lonsdale. He served in the Pacific, Milne Bay (PNG) and Leyte (Philippines).
Ray was born in 1925 and is one our oldest living players.
Dyson Heppell and Scott Pendlebury will captain the two teams on ANZAC Day.
Collingwood is hosting functions at The Glasshouse and at the MCG in the Harrison and Yarra Park Rooms.
MCC Gates Open 12.00pm. Public Gates open at 1.10pm. Main entertainment starts from 2.10pm and the match will begin at 3.20pm.
This year’s match will feature
- The Australian Defence Force Band
- Performance by Mark Seymour
- Motorcade of ANZAC Veterans
- Presentation of Match Day Footballs
- Joint Cheer Squad Banner
- Observance Ceremony
- Catafalque Guard slow march, flags are lowered to half-mast
- Dr Robert Webster President of RSL Victoria recites “The Ode”
- One minutes Silence
- Last Post
- National Anthem
2.09pm: Australian Army Band
2.11pm: Teams preliminary on-field warm-up
2.33pm: Motorcade of Veterans
2.42pm: Main Performance – Mark Seymour
2.54pm: Joint Cheer Squad Banner Display
2.55pm: Presentation of Match Day Footballs
2.57pm: Essendon Enters
3.00pm: Collingwood Enters
3.08pm: Teams Line Up for Anzac Day Observance Ceremony
3.18pm: Coin Toss
3.20pm: Match commences
Half Time: Leigh Kernighan Performance
5.55pm: On-field post-match presentation - Anzac Trophy & Anzac Day Medal winner announced
Cheer Squad Banner
The ANZAC Day match is unique in that the players from each team join together to run through a single cheer squad banner created by the cheer squads of both clubs - in recognition of the ANZAC Spirit and the way Australians came together as one in times of war. The banner lists the names of footballers from each club who lost their lives in war. The Captains and players both teams will meet to shake hands before they run through the banner together.
At Collingwood home games the club uses a traditional “kip” and a single 1942 Australian Penny for the coin toss. Two-Up is a traditional Australian game indelibly linked to the Anzacs and a regular part of ANZAC Day commemorations.
ANZAC Veterans Motorcade
A motorcade of 8 cars prior to the commencement of the game will include those currently serving along with returned veterans and returned nurses and servicewomen. This year for the first time the motorcade will be led by two horses.
Collingwood Football Club Anzac Day Partners
Collingwood supports a range of partnerships and programs as part of the Anzac Day game.
Collingwood and Essendon have worked closely with the RSL for the past 21 years to develop the Anzac Day match into one of Australia’s great sporting events.
The extraordinary support of Collingwood and Essendon members and fans over many years has built the Anzac Day match into one of Australia’s greatest sporting traditions.
The match has become an important part of the annual Anzac Day commemorations and a great celebration of the life we are able to enjoy in Australia at this time. Traditional matches, rivalries, and blockbusters such as Anzac Day are vital for the success of the competition and an important part of life in Melbourne.
The AFL and RSL prefer that the financial arrangements remain confidential and that the focus of the Anzac Day match is on the match and the tribute to Australians who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations around the world.
The clubs and the AFL make a significant financial contribution to the RSL from the gate receipts in addition to the collection at the match and other fundraising initiatives. Any fundraising initiatives must be approved by the RSL with proceeds going to the RSL.
Hawkeye Gissing Bryant – Warrior Concepts
HGB Warrior Concepts provides solutions and assistance for returned soldiers and military welfare organisations and helps to reintegrate wounded and injured military personnel back into normal life to realise a meaningful civilian career.
The Bravery Trust provides financial support to current and former ADF members and their families who have suffered injury or illness as a result of their service.
A presentation of the ANZAC Day Medal is made on the field at the conclusion of the game.
The ANZAC Medal is awarded to the player in the match who best exemplifies the ANZAC Spirit - skill, courage, self-sacrifice, teamwork and fair play. The medal is an engraved bronze disk, incorporating battlefield metal, surrounding a glass centre into which is set an image of the RSL badge.
ANZAC Day Trophy
A presentation of the ANZAC Day Trophy is made on the field at the conclusion of the match.
The President of the Victorian RSL, Dr Robert Webster OAM, will present the trophy to the Captain of the winning team.
The trophy comprises a silver bowl, which is supported by four bronze columns and a central glass pillar. The glass pillar has images of servicemen and footballers and is etched with the names of all VFL footballers that gave their lives on active service. The wooden footing of the trophy comes from an ironbark plank, part of an ammunition wagon, which saw service in Villers-Brentonneux in France. The bronze columns incorporate metal salvaged from Gallipoli battlefields. The trophy and ANZAC Medal were kindly donated to the RSL by UNIBIC, makers of ANZAC Biscuits.
Collingwood Football Club 1917 Horseshoe
Each year Collingwood takes a special horseshoe to the game for good luck and in honour of two former players Paddy Rowan and Malcolm Seddon.
The horseshoe was sent from the Western Front by Malcolm ‘Doc’ Seddon. The inscription on the horseshoe, fashioned out of a German shell, says “From France to CFC, Good luck from Doc, 1917.”
Doc’s best friend and teammate Paddy Rowan had been killed in action nine months earlier.
Jock McHale used the horseshoe to inspire Collingwood to the 1917 Premiership.
Doc promised to look after Paddy’s wife Louise and their child if anything happened to Paddy. Eventually, some years later, Doc and Louise married.
Made Under Fire from Hun Shell and Aeroplane (article)
Mr E. W. Copeland, secretary of the Collingwood Football Club, today received a welcome gift from one of the old players who is now doing “his bit” in the great match against the Germans. The gift, which is a horseshoe, was displayed in the Collingwood dressing-room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and it cheered the Collingwood players.
It was from the old Collingwood player, Malcolm ('Doc') Seddon, now at the front.
Accompanying the horseshoe is a letter from Seddon, explaining that it was made under fire by the shoeing smith with his company. The shoe was made from the driving-band of a German 15-inch shell which Seddon found at Bapaume. The nails were made from pieces of a German aeroplane which the Australians brought down at the Somme. He had recently seen Dan Minogue, the old Collingwood captain, who was looking well.
“I hope”, wrote Seddon, “that this shoe will bring the boys to the top of the tree this year.” The players regarded the arrival of the shoe as a good omen.
8:45am Apr 24, 2017
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