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Franklin awarded life membership

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Lance Franklin of the Swans (left) is presented with his Life Membership by Richard Goyder, Chairman of the AFL (right) during the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Launch at Melbourne Town Hall on March 14, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Lance Franklin of the Swans (left) is presented with his Life Membership by Richard Goyder, Chairman of the AFL (right) during the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Launch at Melbourne Town Hall on March 14, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Sydney superstar Lance Franklin was among a raft of AFL past and present players to have been honoured with AFL life membership on Thursday night. 

Franklin qualified for the honour after playing 300 games in league football across pre-season, regular season and finals matches.

Franklin, Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury, Greater Western Sydney defender Heath Shaw, Fremantle midfielder David Mundy, and umpire Ray Chamberlain were presented with the award at the AFL Season Launch.

The quartet of players, along with Chamberlain, qualified automatically after reaching 300 total AFL games last season.

It's just another award in Franklin's decorated career that includes two premierships, four Coleman Medals, eight All Australian selections and 917 goals, good enough for eighth on the all-time list.

“It has been a lot of hard work to play one game let alone 300 so it is a special night,” Franklin said.

“It is not only for me but for my wife and my family to be here is awesome.”

Life Membership was conferred under the provision of 'Special Service to the Game' to North Melbourne Team of the Century member and former Roos CEO John Dugdale, Richmond Team of the Century member and long-time Essendon recruiting manager Merv Keane, and SANFL Hall of Fame inductee and life member Wally Miller.

Bill Hector was awarded the Jack Titus Service Award for outstanding service to football for his 50 years’ service to the Western Bulldogs in various roles starting as a timekeeper in 1969 to most recently being the club's senior doorman.

The AFL also confirmed on Thursday night that the start time for the 2019 AFL Grand Final would remain at 2.30pm.