- TV identity Eddie McGuire handed prestigious honour from Collingwood
- His 22 years as president was formally recognised at club function
- Collingwood take on GWS in AFL Preliminary Final on September 22
Eddie McGuire has emotionally declared ‘it means everything to me’ after he was handed life membership of the Collingwood Past Players Association – despite never playing a game for the club in his life.
The long-serving TV identity and former Magpies president was awarded the honour this week by club president and close mate Jeff Browne, along with premiership captain Tony Shaw and McGuire’s childhood hero, Peter McKenna.
It comes after McGuire resigned as the Magpies’ president in February 2021 after the release of the ‘Do Better’ report that accused Collingwood of fostering ‘systemic racism and was the first time he had been at an official function since then.
However the club wanted to honour him for his impressive achievements during his tenure as president, even giving him a personalised jersey.
At the AIA Centre in Melbourne, McGuire, 58, was presented with a black and white jumper featuring the number 22.
It represented his years of service as president – and the accolade was even more remarkable given the host of Channel Nine’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? has never laced the boots for the powerful AFL club.
Eddie McGuire has declared ‘it means everything to me’ after he was handed life membership of the Collingwood Past Players Association this week at a function in Melbourne
McGuire was gifted a black and white jumper featuring the number 22 to represent his number of years as Magpies club president (pictured, with wife Carla)
The Past Players Association life membership comes despite McGuire never lacing a boot for the club – he was also handed a Collingwood life membership in 2004
‘It means everything to me,’ McGuire told Nine’s Footy Classified.
‘The players are everything in footy and the rest of us are just trying to keep the show going. ‘I was really emotional because it means so much to me.
‘[As a kid] I didn’t worry about Batman and Superman, I used to go every weekend and see my heroes and occasionally get an autograph and a pat on the head, they were just everything.’
The Past Players Association life membership comes after McGuire was also handed a Collingwood life membership in 2004.
‘The life membership I got at the time I was right in full battle mode, so it’s sometimes better to go away and have some distance from active service,’ he said.
‘To come back to the club where they’ve finished the last bit of development I was involved in, it looks a treat.
‘To hand the baton over to [current president] Jeff Browne and his team and to [head coach] Craig McRae, and for them to take it to the next level, it has been amazing to watch.
‘I’m just a supporter now and I’ve gone back to what it was like when I was a kid.’
On Friday night, Collingwood take on GWS at the MCG for a spot in the AFL Grand Final on September 30.