Eddie McGuire was spotted in the MCG crowd at Collingwood’s season-opener against the Western Bulldogs with a kindred spirit.
Eddie McGuire was spotted in the MCG crowd at Collingwood’s season-opener against the Western Bulldogs with a kindred spirit.

Who was Eddie sitting with at the footy?

You were never going to keep Eddie McGuire away from Collingwood's first game back at the MCG even after his summer from hell.

McGuire stood down as Collingwood president last month following a 22-year reign as the club's figurehead.

The 56-year-old copped backlash following his controversial response to a damning report that accused Collingwood of fostering "systemic racism".

But he was spotted in attendance during Friday evening's AFL game between Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs at the MCG, sitting with former Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon who stood down at the end of last year after his second stint in the role.

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Collingwood's interim co-president Mark Korda paid tribute to McGuire at the club's pre-game function.

As reported by The Herald Sun, Korda said the Magpies would forever be indebted to McGuire, revealing the club would honour his contribution in a greater capacity later in the season.

"After 22 years, the person not standing here is Eddie McGuire," Korda said.

"Eddie has a fantastic legacy at Collingwood, and we are proud of everything he did.

"He is taking a bit of time off at the moment, and make no doubt during the year we will honour Eddie with the full colours, as you would expect.

"He has had a pretty difficult time … as the other board members would say, we didn't even know Eddie was going to resign on that Tuesday.

"I personally believe that he made the decision to resign in the best interests of the club."

The Bulldogs secured a 10.9 (69) to 7.11 (53) victory to get their 2021 campaign off to a flyer - it was the club's biggest win over the Magpies since round 10 of the 2016 season.

AFL icon Mick Malthouse revealed he urged McGuire to return to public life after his tumultuous exit.

"I have had contact with Ed and I am pleased that I did," Malthouse told ABC Sport.

"Nanette (Malthouse's wife) and myself were able to have a cup of coffee with (McGuire) and we went through a few of the processes.

"I said to Eddie, you have got to come outside at some stage and people will genuinely say you have been fantastic for footy.

"The majority of our people in our great game are positive people and that's what I tried to convey to him."

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McGuire made his return to TV on Wednesday night after reportedly going radio silent following his decision to resign.

The divisive media mogul admitted the circumstances surrounding his departure left him "very, very sad" when he returned to host Channel 9's Footy Classified this week.

"I'm going to go and barrack for the Pies till I die. I love the club and I love AFL football, and I want everything to do well," McGuire said.

"I'm not one of those people that walks away hoping there will be schadenfreude and everything falls on its head, quite the opposite."

 

Originally published as Who was Eddie sitting with at the footy?