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My return to the MCG, for the second time!

From the Members Friday DEC 18

By William Hodges

Footy returned to the MCG on Anzac Day 2006 after the Commonwealth Games. The running track need to be removed and the place reconfigured for footy.

The third game back on was an afternoon game on Saturday 29 April, Melbourne v North Melbourne.

I was going to go but didn’t.

A friend invited me to the Pink Ribbon Cup races at Caulfield. It was a charity event, a good cause, so I decided to go.

That decision changed my life forever.

I was in a serious accident that night. I left hospital on 30 November, with crutches attached to my arms permanently and braces on both my legs, temporarily.

I looked quite a sight, complete with hospital glow. But I was determined to get to the 2006 Boxing Day Test, Australia v England.

Dad kindly and happily took me. I could not go on my own.

I floated across the car park walking to the ground. I had not been so happy in a long time. And it was wonderful to see my many MCG friends again.

My vision had not entirely returned to normal, so viewing conditions were not perfect, but I loved being back. So many people were kind, helpful and understanding.

Shane Warne captured his 700th Test wicket. As he said, someone special must write his scripts.

I had seen his 7 for 52 in the 1992 Boxing Day Test. You just knew a star was born that day.

Shane is much misunderstood by some, but my encounters with him have always left me with a smile. He has a kind heart.

I’ve been lucky enough to score a seat for Boxing Day this year. So, I’ll be returning for a second time. Hopefully, it’s the last time I have a prolonged break from the place I love.

I’ve attended at least one day of the Boxing Day Test since 1983. And almost every day since I became a member in 1988.

After the year that all Victorians have had, it will be great to have a slice of normality.

May the slices get bigger with each passing day!

William Hodges with the 2019 and 2020 AFL Premiership cups.