A collection of iconic names, premiership greats, a Brownlow medallist and the AFL CEO will unite in the middle of the MCG on Thursday night to draw attention to mental health, just before the fourth edition of Spud's Game.

Spud’s Game was introduced in 2021 to help raise money and awareness to fight mental health challenges, following the passing of former Saints captain Danny Frawley in 2019.

St Kilda is hoping to eclipse its home attendance record of 72,669 set against Collingwood at Waverley Park in 1978 when it hosts the Magpies in round two.

Honouring a legend, championing a legacy

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But before Ross Lyon's side faces Collingwood, ambassadors from all 18 clubs, plus Andrew Dillon and AIA CEO Damien Mu will observe the traditional Spud's Game two-minute pre-game moment.

Musician Pete Murray has been a vocal mental health advocate and will sing his hit track, Better Days, during the pre-game moment at the MCG.

Hawthorn legend Shane Crawford, Fremantle great Matthew Pavlich, Collingwood premiership captain Tony Shaw and Hall of Famer Guy McKenna are some of the faces that appear on Thursday night.

Richmond great Wayne Campbell captained the Tigers for the majority of Frawley’s time as the club's senior coach, played 297 games in the yellow and black, has been close with the Frawley family for more than two decades and is among the 18 ambassadors.

"As soon as it was put to me, it was a simple answer. Danny and Anita and the girls had such a big impact on my life and my family life, so anything that I could do to help and support that I was willing to do. I’m really looking forward to being a part of the night," Campbell told AFL.com.au.

Campbell, who is now Gold Coast's head of football, believes Spud's Game should become Spud's Round in future, helping attract even greater awareness to the challenges associated with mental health, including those faced by current AFL players. 

"It is clearly such a big issue across society. With the increased pressure on players, which is only going to become more of an issue with the media reporting and the social media presence – that’s only going to become bigger and the game is only going to get bigger – the down side to that is there will be people who don’t handle that pressure as well as others.

"We are becoming so much better at talking about it, but the more we do, the more we can give skills to people, the better. So I would certainly be the advocate of a dedicated round."


Campbell said Frawley, who captained St Kilda for nine seasons, galvanised football clubs with his ability to include and unite everyone, a legacy which will be illustrated again on Thursday night when all 18 clubs are involved in Spud’s Game.

“He always brought people from all parts of his life together and it was always fun. Whenever you went to his house there were always neighbours or cousins there, same at the races or at the footy club, you just kept seeing the same people and new people. He was an incredibly infectious character and a real leader,” Campbell said.

“To be captain of a footy club at such a young age shows how people just gravitated towards him. Then he made people better because of it, which is the ultimate skill of a leader.

He brought people in, he wanted them to have a good time and laughed, he made you feel better about yourself.

- Wayne Campbell

The Danny Frawley Centre for health and wellbeing at St Kilda’s training base RSEA Park immortalises Spud’s legacy, providing daily programs and services to improve mental health in the community.

To donate and help fund life-saving mental health programs, click here.

To secure your seat at Spud’s Game call 9967 4388 or visit saintsmembership.com.au today.  

Spud’s Game Ambassadors

Adelaide - Matthew Clarke
Brisbane - Chris Johnson 
Carlton - Aaron Hamill
Collingwood - Tony Shaw
Essendon - Maddy Prespakis
Fremantle - Matthew Pavlich
Geelong - Brad Ottens
Gold Coast - Wayne Campbell
GWS - Phil Davis
Hawthorn - Shane Crawford
Melbourne - Brad Green
North Melbourne - Majak Daw
Port Adelaide - Paddy Ryder
Richmond - Brendon Gale
St Kilda - Jack Steven, Steph Chiocci
Sydney - Alex Johnson 
West Coast - Guy McKenna 
Western Bulldogs - Ellie Blackburn
AFL - Andrew Dillon 
AIA - Damien Mu, CEO