Spud’s Game will again be delayed by two minutes, with Saints legend Nathan Burke and Bombers great Tim Watson taking on the honour of addressing the St Kilda and Essendon playing groups before the start of play. 

The moving tradition was debuted by Garry Lyon and Stewart Loewe at the inaugural match for mental health last year, utilising the primetime fixture to dedicate space to reach out to loved ones and foster open and honest conversations around mental health. 

St Kilda Football Club was inundated with heartfelt messages and responses from those in the stands and watching from home about using the two-minute delay to reach out to someone important in their life.

02:35 Mins
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RD2 | A touching tribute to Danny Frawley

Garry Lyon, Stewart Loewe and Tony Lockett pay tribute to St Kilda great Danny Frawley

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The touching pre-game moment for this year’s match aims for the exact same outcome, emphasising how taking the time to start a conversation can make a significant impact.

Burke took the reins of the St Kilda captaincy after Frawley retired in 1995 and fondly recalls the lessons Spud instilled in him throughout their time together both on and off the field.

"'Spud' always made people feel as though they belonged and included, no matter who they were, and he wanted people to be aware that it was OK to be vulnerable, and it is very important we all attempt to continue with this," Burke told AFL.com.au earlier today.

"Spud's Game is not just about St Kilda and Essendon, it is all of the AFL, it is all of society, it is a far greater issue, a far greater cause.

The legacy of 'Spud' … it is up to each and every one of us to keep perpetuating this. Reach out to your mates at the footy, your mates at work, anyone you feel needs to hear from you. It is incumbent on all of us.

- Nathan Burke

Watson, who coached Burke during his time as St Kilda senior coach and crossed over with Frawley during his playing and media days, said he was honoured to be part of Spud’s Game in 2022. 

“Whether it be playing, coaching or in the media, I was very lucky to cross paths with Danny throughout nearly every stage of my career,” Watson said.

Nathan Burke, Tim Watson and Robert Harvey pictured in 1999. Photo: AFL Photos.

“You always knew when he was close by, with his boisterous voice often entering a room before he did.

“I’m really proud to be playing a role in continuing his legacy and I can’t wait for Friday night.”

Spud’s Game will be played under Friday night lights, with the bounce now scheduled for 7.52pm.

To donate to Spud’s Game and help fund life-saving mental health and suicide prevention programs run through the Danny Frawley Centre, visit www.movember.com/spud.

01:26 Mins
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The footy brings us together

This year for Spud's Game, we're asking you buy a virtual footy and help us raise funds for life-saving mental health and suicide prevention programs.

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