AFL fans pause to pay respect ahead of ANZAC day eve clash between Richmond and Melbourne

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Aaron KirbyThe West Australian
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Footy fans at the MCG have braved the cold to pay an emotional tribute to the ANZACs ahead of the blockbuster clash between Richmond and Melbourne.

Before the bounce of the now traditional ANZAC Day eve clash, the lights at the famous home of football were dimmed while representatives of the light horse brigade brought a flame into the the arena.

As the flame did a lap of honour, thousands of fans in the crowd generated an incredible atmosphere as they lit their phones in the dark, pausing for moments of respect and reflection.

Applause broke out as the horseman handed the flame over to Gareth Callender to light the ANZAC cauldron.

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A lone horseman.
Camera IconA lone horseman. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

The Ode was recited before the ground descended into silence again for The Last Post and a minute’s silence.

Both teams lined up arm-in-arm, illuminated from the front by lights, casting a stark contrast across the broadcast wing.

The New Zealand and Australian anthems rung across the ground before the players were released for their final warm-ups.

The Demons tasted victory in the first two ANZAC Day Eve clashes in 2015 and 2016 before the Tigers got on the board.

Tigers players pause for the Last Post.
Camera IconTigers players pause for the Last Post. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

Richmond went on to win the next three in a row before Melbourne fired back.

The Demons come into the 2024 edition having won last year by 18 points, but both teams enter the game after suffering a loss last time out.

Last year’s winners will be the favourite again, with the Tigers sitting a low 16th after slumping to defeat against the young Eagles.

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