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Michael Porter: AFL apologises for mourning footy star’s death at Hall of Fame ceremony – even though he’s still alive

  • AFL paid tribute to the ‘late’ Michael Porter at its Hall of Fame ceremony
  • Former Hawks star Porter, 79, is believed to be alive and well
  • AFL has since reached out to apologize to Porter and his family

The AFL has been left red-faced after mourning the death of Hawthorn premiership player Michael Porter at this week’s Hall of Fame gala evening in Melbourne.

The problem is that Porter is still very much alive.

On Tuesday night, the AFL inducted Collingwood great Dane Swan into the Hall of Fame – and also elevated Hawthorn’s Jason Dunstall to Legend status.

But when it came to the ‘In Memoriam’ segment – ​​where the code pays tribute to figures in the game who have passed away within the last twelve months – things of epic proportions unfolded.

The AFL has been left red-faced after mourning the death of Hawthorn premiership player Michael Porter (pictured) during this week’s Hall of Fame gala evening

Speaking on Channel 7’s The Front Bar, Hawks CEO John Kennedy Jr. that he was in disbelief after Porter’s image appeared on the screen.

Porter, 79, played 78 games for Hawthorn and won a flag in 1971.

Host Sam Pang said: “That 1971 team, obviously a famous team and important team in Hawthorn history, but I believe John has a Cheerio that you would like to give to one of the players.”

Kennedy replied: ‘I’d like to send one to Michael Porter who played in the ’71 grand final. “Paris Gates,” they called him.

“He was noted as deceased in the AFL Hall of Fame, as one of the deceased people.

‘The problem is he’s still alive. So Portholes, if you’re listening mate or you’re out there in NSW, let us know when the wake is happening because we’ll all be there mate!’

An AFL spokesperson said: ‘Once this innocent mistake was realised, we moved quickly to call and apologize to everyone involved, including Michael, and we thank him for his understanding.’

Porter (pictured, second row, fifth from right) was part of the 1971 Hawthorn premiership team that defeated St Kilda for the flag

Porter (pictured, second row, fifth from right) was part of the 1971 Hawthorn premiership team that defeated St Kilda for the flag

The AFL contacted Porter - who won a flag with the Hawks in 1971 - to apologize profusely for the blunder

The AFL contacted Porter – who won a flag with the Hawks in 1971 – to apologize profusely for the blunder

Meanwhile, in April it was confirmed that Dunstall became the game’s 32nd legend.

A four-time premiership player at Hawthorn, Dunstall scored 1254 goals in a glittering 269-game AFL/VFL career.

Only Tony Lockett (1360) and Gordon Coventry (1299) are higher on the list of all-time greatest goalscorers.

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Dunstall was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002 as soon as he became eligible.

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