THE LAST time Nicky Winmar was in the centre of the MCG, he kicked four goals in a best-on-ground performance against the Tigers.

It was also 22 years ago.

Go back even further and you'd have seen Syd Jackson win two premierships for the powerhouse Blues in 1970 and 1972.

Just like his successor Gavin Wanganeen, who saluted on the biggest stage twice in a stellar 300-game career with Essendon and Port Adelaide.

But with all their success and accolade, the trio of Indigenous superstars never took part in a Sir Doug Nicholls Round, dedicated to the contributions our First Nations stars have made to Australian Football.

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'It's absolutely special': Indigenous legends on Sir Doug Nicholls Round

Gavin Wanganeen, Nicky Winmar and Syd Jackson joined two modern-day stars at the MCG to launch Indigenous jumpers

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"Everyone is lucky that we have a Sir Doug Nicholls Round, we are able to celebrate Indigenous culture and First Nations culture," Wanganeen told

"Australia's culture is our Indigenous culture and it's great that it's able to be shared through the round."

Sir Doug Nicholls Round honouree Syd Jackson, who played 104 games for East Perth before a scintillating 136-game career with Carlton, didn't believe he'd see a round like this when he was playing in the 1970s.

Syd Jackson at the MCG ahead of the 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round. Picture: Michael Willson

"I never thought I'd be here talking about it let alone coming to the games to see it, it's absolutely special," Jackson said.

"To see so many of our players, Indigenous players, making the grade and making that friendship through sport … and coming together as one group of people in the Indigenous Round, which to me means everything."

Under the bright lights of the MCG towers on a typically cold and windy Melbourne night, all ten Victorian clubs revealed their Indigenous Round guernseys in front of the three men who blazed the trail for them.

Jy Simpkin, Aliesha Newman, Daniel Rioli, Brandan Parfitt, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Bradley Hill, Kysaiah Pickett, Chad Wingard, Jack Martin and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan. Picture: Michael Willson

St Kilda's showing – a guernsey designed by Nicky Winmar, who played 230 games for the club – sat pride of place on Saints recruit Bradley Hill, who flanked Melbourne rising star Kysaiah Pickett for an AFL legacy photo shoot with the three members of the Indigenous Team of the Century.

"I've got the hands on the back that represents the Indigenous people that love to dance with their hands on the back, and they say 'I've got your back brother'. It's a resemblance of those days," Winmar said.

Of their current day counterparts, the legends are emphatic about who excites them most.

"Right now it's young Kozzy Pickett, the silky skills, the speed, the strength, the agility, the reading of the play, all of these things that he has, he's definitely my favourite at the moment," Wanganeen said.

Wanganeen's footballing hero, Winmar, shared the same sentiments about Melbourne's livewire forward.

"That young Pickett, he's a horse, he's a legend. Kozzy has a lot of tricks, the boy is amazing," Winmar said.

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Unlike when Jackson played, there is now an Indigenous star in almost every game of the round, and with the likes of the Riolis from the Tiwi Islands lighting up the biggest stage, the 76-year-old is in awe of those kids coming through.

"It's very inspiring to me, I think when we get more great players playing out on the MCG, I think that gives some inspiration to those Indigenous kids watching on television around the country," Jackson said.

"It inspires them to try harder to try and see themselves on the MCG one day, running around in front of these big crowds and making the big time."