Neale Daniher: Former Melbourne coach an inspiration ahead of Big Freeze 7

Samantha RogersThe West Australian
Daniher appeared on AFL360 tonight ahead of Big Freeze 7.
Camera IconDaniher appeared on AFL360 tonight ahead of Big Freeze 7. Credit: Fox Footy

“You might see a Melbourne premiership”.

Neale Daniher’s eyes lit up as the former Demons coach appeared on AFL360 ahead of Big Freeze 7, with the inspirational football figure delighted by his beloved side sitting atop the ladder in 2021.

Daniher was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2013 and just a year later, started the Queen’s Birthday event, which has raised millions for research with Fight MND.

The now-iconic blue beanies are seen on the heads of footy fans at stadiums around the country, signifying the community’s respect and admiration of the icon, who coached the Demons for 223 games and played 83 for the Bombers.

The seventh annual Big Freeze has been moved from Sydney, with just the slide to take place in Melbourne as the State battles another coronavirus outbreak.

But a new venue has done little to dull the spirit of Daniher as he prepares to raise even more money on Monday at the annual clash between Collingwood and his ladder-leading Demons, who are currently 11-1.

Melbourne are favourites to take the points against a struggling Collingwood outfit and Daniher is delighted at his former club’s success in 2021.

“What about that!?” the 60-year-old said after Gerard Wheatley said he might see a Melbourne premiership.

“Bring on September,” he said.

Daniher’s daughter Bec revealed her father has been at the football every week before lockdown and is the Demon’s “number one supporter”.

Footy fans tuning in to the Fox Footy show praised Daniher, whose condition has began to severely impact his ability to speak, as an inspiration and an icon of the sport.

Fight MND beanies are available through the website or at participating retailers.

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