St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt has thrown the limelight for his 300th AFL match towards Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, the foundation raising money for bone marrow failure in honour of his sister.
The veteran forward notches the revered 300-game milestone on Saturday night against Western Bulldogs.
His club has produced a campaign to pay tribute to Riewoldt’s services across 16 seasons, the last 10 as captain.
The 33-year-old in turn will use the grand occasion help finance finding a cure for bone marrow failure, the condition which claimed his sister last February aged just 26.
“Maddie is the only thing that will be missing on Saturday night as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
“We’re extremely fortunate that we are able to leverage this occasion to do something really good.
“To pay tribute to her, honour her legacy and raise some money for bone marrow failure syndrome and Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, it’s a great thing to be able to do that while we celebrate my 300th.”
Riewoldt said he was “very flattered” by tributes coming his way as he prepares to become the fifth St Kilda player to reach the milestone.
He joins former teammates Robert Harvey, Nathan Burke and Stewart Loewe in reaching the 300-game milestone for Saints, as well as 1966 premiership hero Barry Breen.
Riewoldt said he was in awe of the trio when he joined the club in 2001.
“I remember my first year … thinking at the time they were great St Kilda people. And old,” he said.
“I certainly don’t feel old.
“It goes quick.
“When it starts to creep up … you can’t help but enjoy the experience and enjoy the ride.
“It’s something I’m really honoured by, especially given the calibre of players that have already achieved that for St Kilda.”
Riewoldt was joined by opposing skipper Bob Murphy on Wednesday, who was delighted to help promote the contest.
The pair have duelled for more than a decade on the field but have become friends after turning out in the International Rules series together.
Murphy, due to celebrate his own 300th match later in the season, promised Riewoldt a celebration in the right spirit.
“Nick’s a special player and one of the great players of my generation,” he said.
“He broke my heart a couple of times. Like all great romances we’ve patched it up.
“I’ll give him a hug before the first bounce and I’ll run into my pack and give them orders to rip him apart.
“I think that’s the way it has to be.”