What they say about the MCG…
“You can't invent atmosphere at a stadium...and this place (the MCG) has it.”
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– Rugby league great Wally Lewis, April 6, 2009
“The MCG outfield is like carpet. It’s a great place to display our skills.”
– Vic Spirit opening bowler Clea Smith, Dec 4, 2007
"There are some absolutely brilliant memories playing here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Both in Test match and one-day cricket on a team basis or a personal basis. It's absolutely a packed crowd and it's where it all started for me. It's always a big one.''
– Brett Lee, Dec 2, 2007 (Sunday Herald Sun)
“The MCG is a Valley of Greatness, a colosseum in which ferocity and the will to compete were the measure of a man – and this is how I will remember it.”
- Kevin Sheedy after his last game at the MCG as Essendon coach, Aug 27, 2007 (The Age)
“Winning two premierships and running out onto the MCG in front of nearly 100,000 people in a grand final was a dream come true and to stand on that dais with the premiership trophy was the ultimate dream.
On the other side, there’s the disappointment of walking off the ground with your head in your hands, in tears, having lost the grand final. But that’s part of the MCG, the adulation and the joy but also the tears and sorrow that go with playing.
It’s why I live just around the corner. To be able to open up your bedroom window and see the MCG and know that you’re about to play in front a huge crowd is pretty amazing.”
- Former Essendon captain James Hird, speaking at the MCG 150th birthday dinner, September 2003.
“The Boxing Day Test is like a Grand Final for us. It’s the game every player wants to play. It’s such a great time of the year for everyone. The crowds are big and happy and very appreciative.
For me it has always been a privilege and honour to play in any Test match, but particularly the MCG with its huge stands and history. It’s the ground where the very first Test was played, the ground where Don Bradman made more centuries than anywhere else and the ground where the Centenary Test was played in 1977.
As kids, we would play our backyard Tests and it was always England versus Australia and we were always at the MCG.”
- Matthew Hayden, December 23, 2007 (Sunday Herald Sun)
“Talk to anyone playing a Boxing Day Test and they’ll say it is the highlight if their career and it was for me.”
- Graham Yallop, reflecting on his Test-best 268 against Pakistan in 1983-84 at the MCG, December 23, 2007 (Sunday Herald Sun)
“The MCG is a shrine, a citadel, a landmark, a totem. It is to this city what the Opera House is to Sydney, the Eiffel Tower to Paris and the Statue of Liberty is to New York; it symbolises Melbourne to the world. It inspires reverence."
- Greg Baum, September 24, 2003 (The Age)
“Any day at a Test cricket match or football final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is like a day in the Roman arena.”
- Ray Robinson, Green Sprigs.
“Such is the nature of the MCG; indeed, it is all our yesterdays.”
- Gideon Haigh on his sporting memories of the MCG, Home Ground
“To play regularly at the MCG… was a dream come true.”
- Former Victorian and Australian Test captain Bill Lawry.
“The MCG is looking great. The last time we played here, they were building the stands. Now the atmosphere should be even better. The dressing rooms are as large as a football field and that is quite something to come back to."
- Indian captain Anil Kumble, December 26, 2007 (Herald Sun)
“It was a great reception. I appreciate that and treasure it.”
- Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar on the MCG crowd’s appreciative reaction to his innings of 62 during the 2007 Boxing Day Test.
“Well it is the spiritual home of Melbourne, there's no doubt about it."
- Eddie McGuire, Collingwood President
“The MCG is Melbourne’s Colosseum and Grand Final Day and the Boxing Day Test are its favourite tournaments. Nowhere in the city is Melbourne’s mania for sport so spectacularly displayed.”
- Prof. Graeme Davison, historian