Former AFL star Brad Green has shared a special moment with his two young boys in front of 74,000 footy fans, just days after farewelling his wife Anna.
The former Demons champion and sons Oliver 9, and Wilba, 7, returned to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday, where Anna’s funeral was held last Thursday following her sudden death a fortnight ago.
In a touching tribute to its former captain, the Demons invited young Oliver and Wilba to run onto the MCG and through the banner with the players ahead of their traditional Queen’s Birthday Monday showdown against Collingwood.
Former Demons champion Brad Green shared a loving moment with his boys Oliver and Wilba at the MCG on Monday, just days saying a sad goodbye to his wife and their mum Anna
Anna Green (pictured with husband Brad at the 2010 Brownlow Medal) tragically died from a cardiac arrest a fortnight ago, aged 40
Their dad managed a brave smile as he proudly watched on from the boundary.
After some kind words from Demons captain Nathan Jones, Oliver and Wilba returned to their dad on the boundary, where he flung his arms around them and kissed them in a loving embrace.
‘Today is a great example of what football clubs are about,’ Richmond star Jack Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.
‘It just shows that footy is such a great vehicle for families to go through hardship and be supported by teammates, supporters and society as a whole.’
Oliver and Wilba Green ran onto the field with Melbourne Demons players for their traditional Queen’s Birthday Monday showdown against the Pies at the MCG
Brad Green and wife Anna (pictured) began dating in 2002 and married in 2013
Brad Green embraced his sons after they ran onto the MCG with Melbourne Demons players
Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall added: ‘It’s great to see a smile on his (Brad’s) face.’
‘The game of AFL and the clubs in particular are very good at rallying around and embracing their own.’
Fans also took to social media to offer their love and support after the heartwarming gesture.
‘Well done to two courageous little boys and a devoted dad. You did your mum proud boys,’ a Demons fan posted.
Another tweeted: ‘While it was a disappointing loss for us, I’m so bloody proud of our club for what they did for Brad Green and his two young boys. Football is more than just a game.’
The AFL world is still reeling over the tragic passing of Green’s wife Anna a fortnight ago.
The 40-year-old mother-of-two suffered a cardiac arrest after complications from recent eye surgery and died peacefully surrounded by her husband and their two boys in a Melbourne hospital.
‘Goodbyes are not forever, are not the end. It simply means, I’ll miss you until we meet again. Rest easy my darling #xxx3boys,’ her husband posted on Instagram.
It’s been a tough period for the Melbourne Demons following death of Brad Green’s wife Anna
Brad Green returned to the MCG with his young sons just four days after his wife’s funeral
The former Virgin Australia flight attendant and fashion designer described herself on Instagram as a ‘mum of boys, lover of sunshine, palm trees, yoga, beaches, travel, summer, sunsets, cocktails, style’.
She and Brad grew up together in Tasmania but only started dating in 2002 and walked down the aisle in 2013.
Green retired after kicking 350 goals in 254 games in 2000-2012. He later worked as an assistant coach for Carlton and North Melbourne.
Demons skipper Nathan Jones recently described Anna as an incredible person and beautiful soul who was kind-hearted and full of love and care for everyone.
Brad Green shared a loving moment with his boys in front of 74,000 fans at the MCG
‘There are no words to describe how I’m feeling,’ Jones said.
‘I think all we can do is let Brad know that we’re here for him, and show him all the love and support we can.’
His wife Jerri also posted a heartbreaking tribute to her dear friend.
‘Rest easy beautiful Anna. It was such a joy to be your friend,’ she wrote.
‘I’m grateful our lives crossed paths, for you have touched my heart forever. I’ll keep looking up to you as I always have, admiring the incredible mother to Ollie and Wilba, wife to Brad and creative you were.’
‘Full of deep sadness and equally full of gratitude for having the pleasure of knowing you. I adore you.’
‘Rest easy my darling,’ Brad Green posted on Instagram following the death of his wife