'Cherish forever': Lance Franklin history sparks crazy AFL scenes

Sydney's Lance Franklin kicked his 1000th career goal at the SCG on Friday night, prompting wild scenes as thousands of fans poured onto the ground to celebrate the feat. Picture: Fox Sports
Sydney's Lance Franklin kicked his 1000th career goal at the SCG on Friday night, prompting wild scenes as thousands of fans poured onto the ground to celebrate the feat. Picture: Fox Sports

There were absolutely wild scenes at the SCG on Friday night after thousands of fans swarmed the field after Sydney Swans star Lance Franklin booted his 1000th AFL goal.

Anticipation had been building for weeks as the 35-year-old drew closer to 1000 goal mark, and the Swans ran rampant over Geelong on Friday to put their superstar in prime position to make AFL history.

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Franklin became just the sixth player in VFL/AFL history to achieve the feat, with his 1000th goal coming from a set shot in the final quarter with six minutes to play.

Pandemonium erupted after the shot went through, with an elated Franklin absolutely mobbed by fans.

The game was delayed by half an hour as fans eventually made their way back to their seats, but not before surrounding a clearly delighted Franklin.

Previous warnings from SCG staff and NSW Police not to run on the ground were ignored en masse, in what will likely go down as an iconic moment in the sport's history.

It took Franklin more than 10 minutes to weave his way through fans and get back to the Swans rooms, before the game was restarted a short time later.

Swans coach John Longmire said after the 17.5 (107) to 10.17 (77) that the evening would go down as one of the most special moments of his career.

"That was one of the most special moments you'd probably get, certainly I can look back on," Swans coach John Longmire said.

"I just said to the players after the game we were all privileged to (play alongside) and, in my instance, coach Lance.

"Also the players he has played with over the years, both at Sydney and Hawthorn."

On social media, fans erupted not just over Franklin's goalkicking feet, but by the incredible spectacle that was the crowd of 36,578 pouring onto the field.

Swans pay tribute to Lance Franklin after achieving AFL history

After the match, Franklin told Channel 7 kicking his 1000th goal was an experience he would cherish forever.

“It was an amazing moment, it really was,” he said.

“A lot of hard work to get there. Been playing for 18 years. A lot of hard work to get there but I wouldn’t be able to get there without having great teammates around me to provide those assists.”

There was equal parts amazement and concern as thousands of fans piled onto the field to celebrate with Franklin.

Seen grinning among the chaos, Franklin said he wasn't too concerned when asked if he had felt safe amid the rush of fans.

“I had the taste of Carlton Draught in my mouth from someone. It was an amazing moment. Something I will cherish forever," he quipped.

Lance Franklin celebrates with the crowd after kicking his 1000th career goal, just the sixth person in AFL history to do so. (Photo by Jason McCawley/AFL Photos)
Lance Franklin celebrates with the crowd after kicking his 1000th career goal, just the sixth person in AFL history to do so. (Photo by Jason McCawley/AFL Photos)

Longmire was still stunned by the scenes on the ground by the time he arrived for his post-game press conference.

"I've never seen that. I've never been a part of that. That was one of the most special moments you're going to get or that I can look back on," Longmire said.

"We're all privileged to, in my instance coach Lance, but also the players that he's played with over the years at both Sydney and Hawthorn.

"We've just been able to watch one of the all-time greats go about his business.

"He's played for Hawthorn and us and been a star at both clubs, and a star of the game.

"He's a very humble superstar. They're always the best types."

Franklin had only one goal to his name at the main break and needed to kick three more in the second half to reach the milestone at the Swans' home ground, rather than aiming to do it next week at Marvel Stadium against the Western Bulldogs.

With the Swans in command, Franklin's milestone became the focus for much of the crowd and once he kicked two goals in the third quarter a chant of "Buddy" was heard around the ground just before three-quarter time.

"1000 goals wherever it was kicked was going to be pretty special," Longmire said.

"To have our home supporters be witness to that and to be a part of that was pretty special.

"Plenty of people talk about 'Plugger' [Tony Lockett], that they were here and where they sat. I'm sure the same thing will be talked about in the future with Lance."

With AAP

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