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AFL 2023: Collingwood release statement as AFL rallies around Buddy Franklin

Collingwood have apologised to Buddy Franklin after the AFL champion was booed by fans at the MCG on Sunday afternoon.

The AFL world has rallied around Franklin after the Magpies’ 29-point win over the Swans in the first regular season clash between the clubs at the MCG since 2013.

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In front of 71,463, the Magpies fans made the most of not seeing one of the greatest goalscorers of all-time, quite potentially for the last time, booing him mercilessly at every touch in the 11.11 (77) to 6.12 (48) win.

The booing caught the attention of both coaches and was panned throughout the Monday morning wash up after the weekend of footy.

But in a statement released under the names of Collingwood captain Darcy Moore, coach Craig McRae and CEO Craig Kelly, the Magpies hit out at the fans who booed Franklin.

“We apologise to the Sydney Swans and to Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin,” the statement began.

“The Club does not support booing, particularly champions of the game.

“Yesterday was the first time we played the Swans at the MCG in a decade – it provided an opportunity to respect a champion of the game and we fell short.

“Buddy is a great of Australian football – what he has achieved on the field over a long period of time demands a high level of respect.

“To our Members and supporters, we are on an exciting journey at Collingwood and we do not take for granted the unwavering support you provide us with at every game – home or away. Our fans turn up like no other – you’re our 19th player – you’re loud, you’re

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