The AFL has stepped in to support and promote the EJ Whitten Legends Game, which will be played as a feature match during the AFL season’s pre-finals bye on Friday September 2 at Etihad Stadium.
In addition to the AFL, the match will be supported by league broadcast partners Channel Seven and Foxtel/Fox Footy as well as Telstra and the Trading Post. Ticketmaster is proud to be associated with the event through our role as Etihad Stadium’s ticketing provider.
The 2016 version of the event represents major change and a new direction for what has been a prominent fundraising initiative for the EJ Whitten Foundation.
The foundation – as well as its hallmark event – was developed in honour of one of Australian football’s favourite sons, Ted Whitten. The Footscray/Western Bulldogs legend was a giant of the game and a passionate supporter of State of Origin football.
When Ted Whitten passed away in 1995 from prostate cancer, a State of Origin-style match between Victoria and the All Stars was conceived to raise awareness and funds for men’s health and also to celebrate the legacy of one of the games greats.
The match featured some of the AFL’s most celebrated former players. The EJ Whitten Legends Game has gone from strength-to-strength since the 1995 event. The event quickly outgrew its suburban oval and has been played at Etihad Stadium since 2003.
The 2016 instalment of the EJ Whitten Legends Game promises to be its best yet with two legends of the game captaining the competing sides. Brisbane Lions premiership player Jonathan Brown will captain the ‘Big V’ with goal-kicking legend Matthew Richardson leading the All Stars.
The two sides are packed with retired AFL talent, but many of the players are only recently retired, which will greatly improve the skill and competitiveness of the event. The talent in the coaches’ boxes will be every bit as impressive as the talent on field with Tim Watson helming Victoria and Mark Ricciuto taking the reins of the All Stars.
While the match always offers incredible entertainment and a very funny spectacle, the EJ Whitten Legends Game is a very important tool for raising awareness of men’s health, particularly prostate cancer. The EJ Whitten Foundation has raised more than $9.5 million for prostate cancer research since it was founded in 1995.
As well as the obvious benefits for a great cause, the EJ Whitten Legends Game is a wonderful event for Melbourne. We encourage people to get down to Etihad Stadium to enjoy a fun night while also honouring the legend himself, EJ ‘Teddy’ Whitten.