COACHES and star players ran the meals rather than instructions as the combined might of Albury and Yarrawonga delivered a $41,000 windfall to the James McQuillan Future Fund on Saturday.
More than 130 people attended a lunch with AFL commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick, supported by other fund-raising at and around the ground.
McQuillan’s father Jack and brother Tom were also at the game, Tom speaking about his brother’s rehabilitation and positive attitude.
Tiger and Pigeon coaches Daniel Maher and Chris Kennedy were part of the waiting staff, as were stars Brendan Fevola and Joel Mackie.
Other players did their bit, running onto the JC Lowe Oval as one in a demonstration of unity for the Tigers player who suffered spinal injuries in the clubs’ last clash.
John Dowling, vice-chairman of the James McQuillan Future Fund, paid tribute to the rivalry and partnership which helped raise money.
“I guess it’s not surprising given the strength of the football community, but it’s reassuring that people understand this is a long-term venture,” he said.
“Glenn Brear and the team at Yarrawonga did a fantastic job and all credit to them.”
Brear said he was touched by the overwhelming support.
“Footy is just part of the spectrum in all of this — James’ health is the main thing now,” he said.
“I think any club involved would throw their full support behind such a cause.
“I know Gavan Schultz and Paul Joss are working tirelessly behind the scenes and at our end Penne Treganza did an amazing job to bring Saturday together.”