The money raised has gone directly to support research to find a cure for motor neurone disease.
Daniher revealed in August 2014 he had been diagnosed with MND and his determined advocacy has given prominence to the issue, with the match a centrepiece of the FightMND Foundation’s efforts to raise awareness of the disease.
The organisation also sells FreezeMND beanies to support and promote the cause. A source said the beanies have been selling in record numbers this week as people look for a way to support the cause given football is unlikely on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire revealed on Channel Nine’s Footy Classified that Melbourne and the Magpies had been striving to re-open the season with a game at the MCG between the two clubs on June 8, but he conceded it would be too early for football to be played on that date.
He said the clubs would still acknowledge the fundraising effort when they eventually met in 2020 and there was a chance the match could kick off the season restart.
“If we could play it on the Queen’s Birthday, that would be right … but at the moment, with things being pushed back, it doesn’t look like we’ll get the pre-season in to do so,” McGuire said.
“But we’ll still try and play that – and maybe it might be the first game, Collingwood against Melbourne – and if it is, obviously we’ll do something big for the Neale Daniher situation.”
The dunking of personalities in the ice bath has been a much-anticipated event each year with all AFL coaches sliding into the ice bath in 2018 and former Saints star Nick Riewoldt stealing the show last year when he dressed up as Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury before sliding into the ice bath.
Seven, which has been contacted for comment, are expected to announce the personalities later in the month.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.