Nathan Buckley’s bizarre gift ahead of farewell match

Departing Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has been gifted a patch of SCG turf to mark his final game as Magpies supremo.

Last week, Buckley announced Monday afternoon’s clash against Melbourne would be his last as coach of the Magpies, ending a 10-year stint in the role.

Since taking charge of the side in 2012, Buckley has led Collingwood to 116 victories with a commendable winning record of 54 per cent.

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As first revealed by The Age’s Daniel Cherny, the 48-year-old was presented with a chunk of the hallowed SCG turf ahead of the Round 13 Queen’s Birthday fixture.

An accompanying plaque read: “This turf is from the Sydney Cricket Ground where Buckley coached his final match on Monday, June 14, 2021 and was presented to honour his contribution to Australian sport.”

Football is so weird sometimes.

That's pretty cool.

All non-premiership winning coaches should be so lucky hey

Buckley’s exit came after Eddie McGuire stepped down as Collingwood President in February, while football manager Geoff Walsh and list manager Ned Guy have also departed the club since the end of the 2020 season.

“I’ve loved every moment of my time at the club, and in any role I have given my all to it,” Buckley told reporters last week.

“It was clear there was appetite for change … I could sense that as well.

“I would have been happy to coach the year out if that is what the club needed and wanted … but ultimately, coaching this weekend and then stepping out is an opportunity for new growth, for new energy and new voices.

“I still believe in my capacity to be a really good leader and to be a really good senior coach.”

Magpies assistant Robert Harvey will take over the reins as interim coach for the remainder of the 2021 season.

Collingwood’s clash against the Demons will commence at 3:20pm AEST.

Magpies head coach Nathan Buckley at the SCG.Source:Getty Images

Daniher among recipients of Queen’s Birthday Honours

AFL legend Neale Daniher is among the football identities recognised by this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The 60-year-old, who played 82 games for the Bombers and went on to coach the Demons from 1998-2007, has been named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his “distinguished service to people with motor neurone disease”.

The accolade is the second highest awarded by the Order of Australia and the highest received by an Australian rules identity this year.

“While I am incredibly honoured to have this award, we don’t need any more awards, we just need to find a cure,” Daniher told News Corp on Monday.

Daniher was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2013 and has since been instrumental in establishing the AFL’s annual BigFreeze fixture.

Contested by Melbourne and Collingwood each year on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, the BigFreeze is organised by the AFL in partnership with Fight MND and has raised millions for motor neurone disease research since its inaugural edition in 2015.

The match, so named for the tradition of sports and media identities pledging funds and being dunked in ice prior to the first bounce, will take place at the SCG this year amid Melbourne’s Covid-19 outbreak.

— with Jasper Bruce, NCA NewsWire

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