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Hayden Crozier’s incredible show of sportsmanship to Todd Marshall

Footy took a back seat during a heart-warming moment between Western Bulldog Hayden Crozier and his Port Adelaide opponent Todd Marshall in Adelaide on Thursday night.

Fans at the Adelaide Oval stood up and cheered during the 13th minute of the opening term, in a beautiful gesture for teenage forward Marshall who was returning to AFL ranks after a family tragedy.

Marshall, who wears the No.13 guernsey, was granted indefinite leave in April following the passing of his father Robert.

The tragic news came less than a year after the 19-year-old lost his mother Mary to cancer.

“She was my biggest fan and I miss her so much,’’ Marshall said in February.

“I’m just glad that she saw my debut, that was one of my proudest moments.”

Former Docker Crozier was playing on Marshall during the crowd’s emotional tribute, and in a brilliant display of sportsmanship, went up to his opponent, put his arm around him and gave him a pat on the chest.

The moment didn’t go unnoticed by Channel Seven commentator Bruce McAvaney.

“How lovely is that?” McAvaney said.

Port Adelaide enjoyed a blistering start to the match, booting five goals to none in the first term to open up a 35-point quarter-time lead.

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