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McLeish revels in Hall of Fame tribute

McLeish inducted into Hall of Fame David McLeish speaks to SwansTV after being inducted into the Sydney Swans Hall of Fame.
It’s a great honour to be recognised in such a way. My career of 12 years started when I was a young buck, and now they’re presenting me this honour 50 years after I started playing. It is just an absolute privilege and I am just so proud.
David McLeish

Sydney Swans champion David McLeish played 213 games for the red and white, represented Victoria in Australian rules football and was nominated as a member of the Swans Team of the Century. 

The acclaimed defender added Swans Hall of Fame membership to his glowing record at the 2019 Guernsey Presentation and Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at The Star on Wednesday night – and he says he holds the honour in as high esteem as everything else he achieved in his illustrious 12-year career spanning 1969-1980.

“Becoming a Swans Hall of Famer is right up there with my other achievements. It’s one that you can brag about to your grandkids, and I just hope that once I’m gone they can brag that their dad is a part of the Hall of Fame at the Sydney Swans. So that’s what I’m really proud about – that it’s for the family as well,” McLeish told SwansTV.

“It’s a great honour to be recognised in such a way. My career of 12 years started when I was a young buck, and now they’re presenting me this honour 50 years after I started playing. It is just an absolute privilege and I am just so proud.”

McLeish thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with a host of former teammates at Wednesday’s prestigious event, including Swans Hall of Fame members Dennis Carroll, Tony Morwood and David Ackerly.

As did McLeish, fellow defender Ackerly joined the revered honour roll of Swans Hall of Fame inductees on Wednesday, while Hall of Fame member, former South Melbourne captain and 1981 Brownlow Medallist Barry Round – who wasn’t able to attend – shared with McLeish a heartfelt message on the big screen. 

Another man who wasn’t able to be there was Bloods Legend Bob Skilton, but McLeish said playing in the only finals match of the Swans Team of the Century captain’s career made for one of his fondest memories.

South Melbourne fell to St Kilda in a 53-point semi-final loss in 1970, but McLeish said rubbing shoulders with Skilton in his only final and playing in front of a club-record 104,239 supporters made for a moment to cherish.

“Being a part of the action for Bobby’s only final and playing in front of such a massive crowd was nothing short of incredible,” McLeish said. 

“We did lose, but a crowd of 104,000 is a record, and I’d say Skilton dragged most of those people along just by being Bobby Skilton.”