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Best player to receive Neale Daniher Trophy

Melbourne coach Neale Daniher.
A trophy named after Neale Daniher (pictured) will be awarded to the best player in Monday's Queen's Birthday clash

TERMINALLY-ill Neale Daniher will be honoured today with a perpetual trophy in his name awarded to the player adjudged best-afield in the Queen's Birthday clash between Melbourne and Collingwood.

Former Melbourne coach Daniher will present the annual Neale Daniher Trophy in front of both teams after Monday's game at the MCG.

The 54-year-old is battling motor neurone disease (MND) and has vowed to spend the remainder of his life raising money and awareness to find a cure.

The popular Daniher has inspired a group of football identities to raise $10,000 each and slide into a pool of ice for the pre-match 'Big Freeze at the 'G'.

Already, he has spearheaded a campaign that has raised more than $1 million to fight the insidious disease.

Melbourne chairman Glen Bartlett said Daniher was a much-loved club figure who was very much part of the Demons' fabric.

"Neale’s contribution to the game and our club has been significant," Bartlett said.

"He has been our most successful coach in recent times having taken us to the finals a number of times, including our last Grand Final in 2000.

"We are delighted to recognise him by awarding the Neale Daniher Trophy. I know it will be a very proud day for the player who wins the award."

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire also praised Daniher as a man of great principle.

"At Collingwood, we believe that if you don't stand for something you stand for nothing," he said.

"Neale Daniher has always stood up, always stood tall and stands for so much of what is good about our game and our community.

"Collingwood is proud to play for the Neale Daniher Trophy and begin, with Melbourne, a tradition that will honour his name and celebrate the wonderful qualities he embodies."

The voting panel for today's Neale Daniher Trophy will comprise Essendon greats Tim Watson (chairperson) and Terry Daniher (brother of Neale), former Collingwood skipper Nick Maxwell and ex-Melbourne captain Garry Lyon.

They will each cast 3-2-1 votes, with chairman Watson having the deciding vote in the event of a tie.

Daniher was a star with Essendon before knee injuries took their toll.

After serving as an assistant coach at Essendon and Fremantle, Daniher coached Melbourne from 1998-2007, guiding the Demons to six finals series, including the 2000 Grand Final loss to the Bombers.

Daniher coached Melbourne in 223 games, third in the club's history behind legends Norm Smith (310) and Frank 'Checker' Hughes (258).

He also coached The Allies in State of Origin football.

Daniher's last football appointment was as West Coast's general manager of football operations from 2008-13.