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Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Sydney Swans
The bloke who caught one of the most famous balls in AFL history has returned it to its rightful owner.
Over the weekend, one lucky spectator managed to mark the ball Lance 'Buddy' Franklin kicked his 1000th AFL goal with.
The historic moment at the Sydney Cricket Ground sparked wild scenes as thousands of fans rushed onto the field to celebrate with the man of the moment as he entered into an elite club of legends.
A moment we will never forget.- Sydney Cricket Ground (@scg) March 25, 2022
Fans race onto the hallowed @scg turf to celebrate with @Buddy_Franklin. Thank you to the 36,578 fans who came along and joined the party :tada:. #Buddy1000 #LoveOurSCG pic.twitter.com/IewRdMPGhm
But during the pandemonium, one Swans supporter kept his eye on the prize and somehow plucked the yellow Sherrin out of the air and kept it as a souvenir.
Footage posted on social media shows the bloke struggling to keep his balance as people rushed by him before taking a brilliant mark.
He even fell over the row of seats in front of him in an effort to get the ball.
"I've got the pill," he shouted repeatedly.
To the person who caught the ball, we would love to get it back for Buddy!- Sydney Swans (@sydneyswans) March 26, 2022
We're inviting you to training to meet Lance and present the ball to him.
Get in our DMs pls!! https://t.co/EU5mBVVphY
Rather sensibly, instead of joining in with the on-field celebrations, the bloke quietly scuttled off home with the piece of priceless memorabilia tucked safely between his arms.
But when the dust finally settled after the historic evening, the Swans were keen to retrieve the historic ball and decided to put a call out online asking for it back.
Now, incredibly, the bloke has come forward and presented the ball back to Buddy.
In exchange for the ball, the fan had a meet-and-greet with Buddy himself and was gifted a bunch of merchandise including a pair of signed footy boots and a Swans guernsey.
The ball itself is now in the hands of the man who became just the sixth player in AFL/VFL history to reach 1000 goals.
"It was an amazing moment, it really was," Buddy told Channel 7 after the game against the Geelong Cats.
"A lot of hard work to get there. Been playing for 18 years. A lot of hard work to get there but I wouldn't be able to get there without having great teammates around me to provide those assists."
The iconic scenes where a sea of fans wearing red and white rushed onto the SCG turf to celebrate with Buddy will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest moments in AFL history.
"I've never seen that. I've never been a part of that. That was one of the most special moments you're going to get or that I can look back on," Swans head coach John Longmire said.
"We're all privileged to, in my instance coach Lance, but also the players that he's played with over the years at both Sydney and Hawthorn.
"We've just been able to watch one of the all-time greats go about his business.
"He's played for Hawthorn and us and been a star at both clubs, and a star of the game.
"He's a very humble superstar. They're always the best types."