Lenny Hayes, Justin Koschitzke and Nick Riewoldt were the best of teammates. And the St Kilda champions are still there for each other.
Koschitzke and Riewoldt have been close since meeting as teenagers playing Under-18 football.
They joined the Saints as the top two picks in the 2000 national draft and have been inseparable since.
Hayes has already been at St Kilda for two years by then, but was one of the first to make the teenagers feel welcome.
When Nick lost his sister Maddie to Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome earlier this year, Koschitzke and Hayes were two of many former teammates there for the Riewoldt family.
This weekend Koschitzke and Hayes will be out to raise funds for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision – a foundation established to help adolescents and young adults suffering from Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes.
Koschitzke, who is playing for Lavington in the Ovens and Murray Football League, will pull on a purple jumper in a game against Wangaratta.
Hayes will be a special guest speaker at the event at Lavington Oval on Saturday (August 22).
“Maddie was the nicest person, she was like a little sister to me when I was at St Kilda,” Koschitzke said.
“I would just ask people to support the day as much as they can, even if it’s a donation at the gate.”