Fremantle fans paid tribute to late super fan Milli Lucas during Thursday night’s top-eight clash with Geelong.
In the 14th minute of the first quarter, the crowd at Optus Stadium rose to its feet and applauded in memory of 14-year-old Milli, who lost her battle with cancer in January.
AFL pundits praised the “beautiful” gesture on social media.
Plenty of doom and gloom about today, but that standing ovation for Milli Lucas shows why sport is the best #AFLFreoCats 😢
The crowd standing to applaud at the 14-minute mark of the game. God I loved that. More of those sort of moments. @freodockers#milli#AFLFreoCatshttps://t.co/CJpWvmb208
“This stadium, as the applause goes on, was her happy place. As a Fremantle supporter, this was where she’d like to come, where she could smile,” commentator Brian Taylor said.
Thursday night’s game was the 19th annual Starlight Purple Haze Game, during which the Dockers raise funds for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
The Dockers players themselves commemorated Milli by wearing special Milli Tribute Jumpers, designed by Milli’s two siblings.
“For the club, what they’ve done for us has been incredible. We don’t even know where to start for the gratitude and the thanks,” Milli’s mother Monica Lucas said during the week.
“When we were asked if our family could design a Milli jumper, we thought it was incredible as it shows that you’re not forgetting about our baby.
“For us, it’s incredible that the Fremantle Dockers are keeping Milli alive. It helps us grieve as her legacy is living on.”
For Milli Lucas 💜#AFLFreoCatspic.twitter.com/pxgN596Amc
Fremantle’s first Thursday night fixture since 2015 got off to a dour start, with both sides struggling to find the big sticks.
The Cats’ Brad Close drew blood first, and before the term was out, his teammates Tom Hawkins and Patrick Dangerfield had majors of their own as well.
Andrew Brayshaw was the home side’s sole goal scorer of the first quarter as the Cats took a 14-point lead into the break.
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