"I WASN'T going to miss this for the world."
Not even a broken back was going to prevent Western Bulldogs veteran Dale Morris from the greatest moment in his 230-game career.
It was revealed after Saturday's historic 22-point Grand Final victory over the Sydney Swans that Morris broke two vertebrae in his back in the round 23 loss to Fremantle.
"I may have (broken my back) in the last game against Freo, but who cares now," he told Channel 7.
"Everyone plays through injuries.
"I talked to the fitness staff, the (doctors) and all the rest of it and we go through things and they assured me nothing can get worse.
"It's a pain management thing and we go for it."
Morris trained away from the main group during the week and has been on a reduced training load.
He was also almost a late scratching in the preliminary final against Greater Western Sydney when he appeared in discomfort during the warm-up.
His tackle on Lance Franklin with about five minutes left was the type of act that is necessary to win flags, and it was typical of the tenacity Morris has displayed throughout his career.
Franklin collected the ball in the centre square with the Swans trailing by nine points and threatened to produce a moment of brilliance that would give his side the momentum.
Instead, Morris laid a huge tackle, which allowed Tom Boyd to collect the ball and slot a goal on the run from the centre square.
The defender told reporters after the game he refused to allow Franklin to be released from his grasp.
"I wasn't letting him go, no way known," he said.
"I gave it everything I had. I'm glad it popped up and 'Boydy' got it, because I was spent."
He admitted to being tired and worried about what the superstar Swans forward could do.
"I started to cramp and the ball popped out to Buddy. All I thought was 'oh no, here we go'," he said.
"I thought I was going to have a big chase on my hands.
"Luckily for me I was able to get the tackle in and the big fella (Boyd) was able to slot the goal. He really stood up for the club and really came of age."
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge was deeply worried about Morris' injury but knew he wouldn't be able to stop the determined 33-year-old.
"He got injured a few weeks ago, but try and hold him back," Beveridge said.
"His courage and bravery got him through, we were a bit concerned when he got hit early in the game.
"It would have hit that area, but he made it through."
He played an important role in that win and the veteran was again a rock in defence for the Bulldogs in the Grand Final.
He marshalled his troops beautifully with his leadership along with racking up 15 possessions at 93.3 per cent efficiency.
He also had four tackles, six one percenters and did a great job limiting the impact of Kurt Tippett and Lance Franklin.
"This is amazing," Morris said.
"Words can't describe how I'm feeling personally and how everyone is feeling in this room.
"It's incredible, it's an out of body experience almost.
"I don't think it's really hit me.
"It's been a bit of a blur really, it's crazy."