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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

900 games: Ablett Extended Family. Gary Ablett's return to the Suns' line-up in Round Eight took the family's combined total of games to 900. The family record is: Geoff (229 games with Hawthorn, Richmond and St Kilda), Kevin (38 games with Hawthorn, Richmond and Geelong), Gary, Sr (248 games with Hawthorn and Geelong), Luke, son of Kevin (133 games with the Sydney Swans), Gary, Jr, son of Gary senior (217 games with the Geelong Cats and Gold Coast Suns) and Nathan, son of Gary, Sr (34 games with the Geelong Cats and Gold Coast Suns).

Club Record Games Coached: West Coast Coach John Worsfold equaled Mick Malthouse for games coached in Round Eight with his 234th game. He began coaching the Eagles in 2002. Malthouse coached the club 1990-1999.

200 games: James Kelly (GEEL)

200 games and no Finals: Chris Newman (RICH) has yet to play in a Final. Heading this list are: Trevor Barker (230 games with St Kilda), Geoff Cunningham (224 games with St Kilda), Steven Smith (203 games with Melbourne) and Ted Pool (200 games with Hawthorn). Melbourne legend Robbie Flower played 269 games before finally tasting finals action in the last three games of his career.

150 games: Ryan Griffen (WB)
150 games: Lance Franklin (HAW)
100 games: Clinton Young (HAW)
50 games: James Podsiadly (GEEL)
50 games: Hayden Ballantyne (FREM)
50 games: umpired: Sam Hay

MCG Attendance Milestone
Several weeks ago, the MCG hosted its 2500th football game. At the start of the season, AFL historian Col Hutchinson and his team did some extensive research to estimate the MCG would celebrate another milestone in 2012 as the ground would see its 100 millionth footy fan walk through the turnstiles. At the time, it was determined that the milestone would be reached in the Round Nine game between Richmond and Hawthorn.

According to an AFL media release ahead of Round Eight, the figure may have been reached with the crowd attendance during the Friday night blockbuster between Geelong and Collingwood. However, at the conclusion of Round Eight there was no mention of this in any of the news articles at various web outlets. AFL boss Andrew Demetriou said the milestone would be celebrated on Saturday afternoon of Round Nine due to this timeslot being the more traditional in the history of the game as well as that of the Grand Final. Demetriou said the match between Hawthorn and Richmond would be used to not only celebrate but thank fans for their support. Some lucky fans at that match will walk away with prizes, yet to be determined.

The prizes are a Toyota to one lucky fan as well as an MCG ticket package. Three others will receive two ten year AFL Memberships. Toyota staff will hand out "Toyota thunder sticks" to fans as they enter the ground. Four fans holding up their sticks as the cameras pan across the crowd will be selected via the MCG big screens and each will be given a key. Only one key will open the car.

Hutchinson and his team spent 18 months scouring through old newspapers and other journals in an effort to determine attendances between 1897-1902 when crowd numbers were not formally recorded. Attendances for some 70-odd matches had to be estimated based on match reports and comparing similar games of the times. Based on their research, the best guess was that MCG attendance had hit approximately 99 million fans prior to the start of the 2012 season.

Source: mcg.org.au & Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release

Article last changed on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 9:37 AM EDT


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