'Can't believe it': Global envy over 'insane' AFL crowd at MCG

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
The crowd, pictured here standing for the Last Post during the Anzac Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon.
The crowd stand for the Last Post during the Anzac Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Australia is the envy of the world after 78,113 fans fans packed the MCG on Sunday for the AFL's traditional Anzac Day blockbuster between Collingwood and Essendon.

After COVID-19 put a line through the 2020 edition, a world record crowd since the pandemic began turned out on Sunday.

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The 78,113 fans comfortably topped the 67,000 that attended a Twenty20 cricket match between India and England in Ahmedabad last month - the previous record.

The traditional Anzac Day clash is the biggest AFL home-and-away game of the season, and it once more lived up to that billing.

Sitting 15th and 16th on the ladder, both teams are enduring difficult seasons but that did nothing to subdue the atmosphere.

Victorian fans have been more reluctant than normal to attend games this year as the world adapts to life post-COVID.

But with the state government this week increasing capacity at the MCG to 85 per cent, no diehard fan was missing this.

The incredible scenes went viral around the world, with overseas onlookers and those in Australia expressing their disbelief on social media.

Many described the world record crowd as "unreal" and "insane".

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Spine-tingling scenes as 78,000 pack the MCG

People arrived early to watch the Army band perform an array of rocking covers, including The Darkness' I Believe in a Thing Called Love.

If Meatloaf's infamous 2011 grand final performance is the musical nadir on the Ponsford stage, the talented servicemen and women were at the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

But the true spine-tingling moments were still to come.

On the same weekend banners have returned to AFL fields, Collingwood and Essendon ran through the same one - an entrance which has become an Anzac Day tradition.

Fans, pictured here watching on during Collingwood's clash with Essendon at the MCG.
Fans watch on during Collingwood's clash with Essendon at the MCG. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Next was the minute's silence and the performance of the Last Post.

While last year's recorded rendition was unforgettable in its own way, once again having a stadium full of people remembering the sacrifices of fallen soldiers was truly special.

The Last Post is played before all games during the Anzac Day round, but what stands out at the Collingwood-Essendon clash is the roar after the national anthem.

Not since the 2019 finals series has there been such a loud noise at a football game in Victoria.

with AAP

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