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Grand Final parade details

Dave and Steve's 'unlegendary' moments The Toyota Legendary Moments guys look back at some quirkier moments from the 2016 season

THE THREAT of rain is unlikely to deter footy fans from attending Friday’s Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade in Melbourne. 

The Western Bulldogs haven’t featured in a Grand Final since 1961 – almost 20 years before the first parade – so Dogs supporters are expected to swarm to the event, which for the second year will finish outside the MCG. Swans fans will be cheering on their players for the third time since 2012.

The parade starts at noon (EST) at the Old Treasury Building on Spencer Street. Friday is a public holiday in Victoria. Fans heading from Flinders Street to the MCG can catch free tram services.  

The Bureau of Meteorology is tipping a "high chance” of showers, mainly in the afternoon, a significant upgrade on the dire predictions for wild weather issued earlier this week. 

For more information on the parade, including the route, road closures and changes to public transport services, click here.

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THERE was little fanfare when Melbourne was presented the first premiership cup, in 1959, after the club's Grand Final win over Essendon.

Before the game the club captains, John Beckwith and Jack Clarke, were told they would need to be ready if their respective team was victorious in order to receive "a lasting memento".

"If we won, I had to be at a gate near the members," Beckwith told the AFL Record several years ago.

"I had to go straight there. Then I had to walk up about 20 rows and Sir Dallas Brooks, the Victorian Governor, was to present me with a cup.

"He shook my hand, gave it to me and I just turned around and came down to celebrate with the boys. I held the cup up, then the team carried Ron (Barassi) and I off the ground," he said.

The presentation of the cup has since become one of the key moments of Grand Final day, with the cup now the iconic symbol of success. Clubs also receive a flag, but at a later date.

It was then-VFL president Kenneth Luke who pushed for a premiership cup in the 1950s. Luke, who ran a silverware business, had seen how popular the FA Cup trophy was among English soccer players and fans alike, and wanted to create something that would similarly stir the passion of players and supporters here, albeit with a different design.

The 1959 cup and the gold version struck for the AFL's 1996 centenary season (won by North Melbourne) are ranked the most valuable of the 57 presented. Both are insured for more than $150,000.

Cash's Australia has made the premiership cup every year. One cup takes about six weeks to make; many of its pieces are handcrafted and it has a silver-plated brass base and gold leaves.

Several years ago, the AFL offered clubs the opportunity to purchase replica cups for premierships won before 1959. Fifty-five have been made to recognise those wins, with 15 of the 18 clubs sharing 112 cups. The 113th will be hoisted high at the MCG late on Saturday afternoon.

Fans can see 112 premiership cups on display at the Telstra premiership cup windows display at the Toyota AFL Grand Final live site, part of the Foxtel Footy Festival, at Yarra Park, next to the MCG. At nominated times, selected premiership players will be on hand for photo opportunities with specific cups. Go to afl.com.au/finals/events for more information.

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PROMINENT Melbourne chef and restaurateur Shane Delia knew he was in for a big Grand Final week, but his schedule got even more frantic last Saturday night when his beloved Western Bulldogs edged into the big game.

Delia – a club ambassador who regularly hosts players at his restaurants, including Biggie Smalls in Collingwood – was at Spotless Stadium with family members to watch the Dogs beat the Greater Western Sydney in one of the club's most memorable wins.

"To be at the preliminary final win with my brother Dean and my (long-suffering Bulldog tragic) dad Ted, wrapped in each other's arms after the final siren and with tears running down our faces is a feeling I will never forget," Delia said.

"I can't begin to prepare myself for what Saturday has in store."

But before that, Delia and some of the city's other top chefs and restaurants will be working feverishly on a bespoke selection of footy-themed goodies on offer at the Lifestyle Taste of Football precinct at the Foxtel Footy Festival, which starts Wednesday at Yarra Park next to the MCG.

Delia said he "didn't have a choice" when it came to barracking for a footy club.

"We were born into the club. Dad was a passionate supporter who painted our bedrooms, ceiling to floor, in the Bulldogs' colours," he said.

He said football was about family, describing himself as a "loyal, relentless and determined" fan.

"It's been a great few years for our club, and the best is still to come. Our boys believe in each other and are fighting to go all the way."

Asked several weeks ago by the AFL Record which team would win the flag, Delia has little doubt.

"Are you serious? My boys will go all the way." 

VISIT THE LIFESTYLE TASTE OF FOOTBALL PRECINCT AT THE FOXTEL FOOTY FESTIVAL, YARRA PARK, MCG

Wednesday, September 28: 12-5pm
Thursday, September 29: 10am-7pm
Friday, September 30: 10am-7pm
Saturday, October 1: 9am-6pm

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THE FOXTEL Footy Festival is a celebration of Melbourne culture, with a focus on food, music and movies and, of course, footy. The four-day festival includes activities for fans of all ages.

Here's a snapshot of what's on offer, from Wednesday, September 28 until the end of the AFL Grand Final on Saturday, October 1, at Yarra Park, outside gate 3 of the MCG.

  • Appearances by AFL players
  • A kids' zone featuring footy clinics, giveaways and activities
  • A display of 112 premiership cups
  • Movie screenings and live music
  • Food and drink zones with offerings from some of Melbourne's leading chefs and restaurants, including bespoke footy-themed dishes

The festival precinct includes the Toyota AFL Grand Final Live Site with activities and giveaways, including a station where fans can record their own Toyota AFL legendary moment TV commercial.

The Live Site is also the end-point of the Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade, which leaves Old Treasury Building at 12pm (EST) on Thursday, September 29.

FOXTEL FOOTY FESTIVAL/TOYOTA AFL GRAND FINAL LIVE SITE, YARRA PARK, MCG
Wednesday, September 28: 12-5pm
Thursday, September 29: 10am-7pm
Friday, September 30: 10am-7pm
Saturday, October 1: 9am-6pm

For more information go to AFL.com.au/finals/events