St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt says he is flattered by the adulation he has received ahead of his 300th game on Saturday night, but concedes the absence of his sister Maddie will be the only thing missing when he celebrates the milestone.
The Saints clash against Western Bulldogs will not only mark a stunning achievement for St Kilda’s skipper, it will also coincide with the second edition of the match in support of Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, which raises funds to find new treatments for bone marrow failure.
“Maddie is the only thing that will be missing from Saturday night as far as I'm concerned,” Riewoldt told the media at a press conference at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
“So to be able to pay tribute to her and honour her legacy and raise some money for bone marrow failure syndrome … it's a great thing to be able to do while we celebrate my 300th.
“There's not a day that goes by where I don't think about Maddie and how great it would be if she was here and able to do this herself.
“But in lieu of her not being able to do it, that's what we're doing as a family.”
Maddie bravely fought Aplastic Anaemia for five years before losing her battle early last year. The Riewoldt family have since established a foundation in her honour.
With Western Bulldogs Captain Bob Murphy on hand on Tuesday to help promote the game and Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, Riewoldt paid tribute to the support provided by the AFL, the two clubs involved in the game, as well as his on-field adversary.
“We’re extremely fortunate that we’re able to leverage the occasion to do something really good and help other people like we’ve been aiming to do over the last 12 months since the establishment of Maddie’s Vision,” Riewoldt said.
“We’re really lucky that as a family we get to leverage our relationship and our friendship with the AFL, and St Kilda Football Club and Western Bulldogs Football Club and guys like Robert Murphy. So we’re really grateful for that.”