They gathered in their thousands at Whitten Oval, some nursing sore heads, most still shaking theirs in disbelief.
The party to end all parties rolled on into Sunday as the Western Bulldogs faithful celebrated winning their first AFL flag in 62 years.
As the crowd awaited their premiership heroes, Dogs legend Doug Hawkins took the stage, not to speak but just to revel in the glory of it all.
Wiping away tears, Hawkins took a selfie in front of the crowd, capturing a moment he thought may never come.
But nothing compared to the rapturous ovation when the triumphant Bulldogs finally emerged with the premiership trophy, some looking worse for wear but all still smiling.
Fittingly, for a side so focused on putting the team ahead of individuals, the biggest cheer of all was reserved for Joel Hamling, who went into Saturday’s grand final as a relative unknown and towelled up Sydney superstar Lance Franklin.
Star midfielder Marcus Bontempelli captured the feeling of disbelief still present at Whitten Oval.
“It’s unbelievable for us to have achieved what he have,” he said.
“This is going to be one of the most important times in our lives.”
The emotional moment where coach Luke Beveridge presented injured captain Bob Murphy with a premiership medal was replayed on the big screen to rapturous applause.
And then it was over to Luke Dahlhaus to lead the team, and the crowd, through yet another rendition of Sons of the West.
With an estimated crowd of more than 20,000 packed onto a sunny Whitten Oval, the conditions proved too much for some.
At least two punters received medical assistance after collapsing while waiting for the premiership team to emerge.
Bulldog president Peter Gordon addressed the crowd urging them to look after each other, admitting the club wasn’t accustomed to hosting such massive crowds.
“Let’s just take it easy today,” he said.
“We’ve got a problem here that we’ve never had before. It’s a problem of our own making because we happened to win a premiership.”
Gordon, the man who famously reached into his own pockets to pull the Bulldogs back from the brink in the late 1980s, looked like he’d celebrated as hard as the players.
But he managed to find the words to thank the Bulldogs faithful, recalling what he told Beveridge during their embrace after their preliminary final over Greater Western Sydney.
“I said ‘you’ve just got us into our first grand final since 1961 – you are frigging amazing’,” Gordon said.
“That man just led us to our first premiership in 62 years and he’s contracted to us for the next five years at least.”