Melbourne legend Garry Lyon has declared the Demons’ drought-breaking 2021 premiership as the salve everyone connected to the club needed to heal the wounds caused by failure and tragedy.
He said winning the flag was “everything you would think it is” as he celebrated in the rooms with the players, officials and former players after watching the team demolish the Western Bulldogs from midway through the third quarter to turn a 19-point deficit into a 74-point victory.
The win ended 57 years without a flag and a modern history filled with sadness as former players and coaches Jim Stynes, Dean Bailey, Colin Sylvia, Troy Broadbridge, Robbie Flower and Sean Wight died too young, while Neale Daniher has battled motor neurone disease.
It was Daniher’s words of “When all is said and done, more is said than done” that were plastered around the rooms before the match and his presence that moved everyone connected with the Demons after the game as Lyon spoke on Fox Footy.
“It’s so uplifting for everyone. That’s why the win tonight was so significant. The heartache and tragedy is real, it’s part of our history but we have wiped it. We have got a premiership and I have never seen a happier footy club,” Lyon said.
The 54-year-old former Demons captain presented Max Gawn and coach Simon Goodwin with the premiership cup before explaining how he was nervous when the Bulldogs had a 19-point lead.
Melbourne great Garry Lyon with coach Simon Goodwin.Credit:AFL Photos
“Halfway through the third quarter I was thinking ‘we are shot again here’ and they rallied. It just blew my mind what they did,” Lyon said.
“You dream about it. You think it, you watch other clubs go through this in the last 10 years, Geelong and the Swans and the Bulldogs in 2016, and you sit there hoping one day you are going to get to experience it.
“It’s everything you would think it is.”
Lyon played 226 games for Melbourne, including the 1988 grand final, before becoming their most high-profile supporter as a media personality and respected football analyst.
He said it remained to be seen how much more success the team, which had eight players who are under 22 years of age, could enjoy.
“We will go back and analyse this as one of the great seasons … they have got some talent coming through,” Lyon said.
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