Neale Daniher - MND - Big Freeze 2 - Monday 13 June

Just seen the story in the HS, interview with Tim Watson will be on 7 news tomorrow. I had an uncle that passed away with this disease and was so sad to see. His playing career was cut short, let hope he can fight a strong fight now.


I will never forget the day he destroyed the Scum in the last 5 minutes of the game. I was about 11 years old and in hospital recovering from a simple procedure for sinus issues. I was jumping up and down on the bed so much that i caused a massive nose bleed.


Neale Daniher, former Essendon champion and Melbourne coach has revealed his deadly battle with motor neurone disease
  • AUGUST 17, 2014 11:06PM

Neale Daniher has spoken of his shocking diagnosis.

FOOTY legend Neale Daniher has revealed his battle with deadly motor neurone disease and plans to dedicate what remains of his life educating the public about the condition.

The former Essendon champion and Melbourne coach has vowed to tackle the cruel and ­incurable disease with the same courage and determination that defined his football career.

Speaking publicly for the first time to friend and ­former Bombers teammate Tim Watson in an interview to air on Seven News on Monday night, Daniher delivered a blunt ­assessment of the disease ­slowly killing him.

“There‘s no prevention. No treatment. No cure,‘‘ he said.

Daniher, 53, first recognised a problem when he had trouble hanging washing on the line and was diagnosed last year after nine months of tests.

“I thought, well I‘ve got a weakness in my hands and I‘ll fix it,‘‘ he said in the Channel 7 interview.


Daniher during his time as Melbourne coach.

“Modern science. A few ­injections. A few tablets. Nothing serious. I‘ll be back putting clothes on the line again.”

But his life was turned ­upside down when told he had a disease that leads to a slow, gradual death.

“I didn‘t know a lot about it, but I knew you didn‘t want to get it,‘‘ he said.

Daniher announced last September he would stand down as West Coast Eagles football operations boss due to health reasons but has until now kept his condition private.

He will quit football and move his family back to ­Melbourne to start work on a public campaign to raise awareness of the disease, ­recruiting AFL stars to help spread the message.


Essendon's Daniher brothers Tony, Terry, Neale and Chris Daniher in a game against St Kilda in 1990.

“A tragedy of the disease is you‘re a witness to your body dying,‘‘ he said.

“But every 12 hours someone gets MND in Australia, and every 12 hours someone dies. It‘s an anonymous killer. Not many people know about it.”

Daniher, who coached Melbourne to the 2000 AFL Grand Final and played 82 games for Essendon in a career cut short by injury, will also focus on fundraising for research.

“We need to find some treatment, prevention and a cure,‘‘ he said.

About two Australians die a day from the disease, which progressively robs sufferers of the use of arms, legs and ability to speak, swallow and breathe but normally does not affect their mind and senses.

Daniher has started slurring his words and has difficulty with his hands but is still physically active and said a positive approach was essential.

“You don‘t cope by fear. You just day-by-day exist,‘‘ he said. “You just get on with life and enjoy life and there‘s a lot to enjoy.

“And you don‘t cope by thinking where this will end up? There‘s no fun in that. You don‘t get many laughs in that.”

The average life expectancy after diagnosis is 27 months but, in true fighting spirit, ­Daniher said he would play the game on his own terms.

“It‘s important that people who‘ve heard the diagnosis know that, on average, it‘s two to four years to live but I might bump that up a little bit,‘‘ he said.

cheers Ryan!

think I’ll be heading along, so anyone else interested, let’s get a Blitzer table going! :slight_smile:


When neale came to essendon before he played his first game Fouldsy told me “we have a star who reads the play like no other in neale”.
Also sheeds worked for world of sport before he coached Essendon and i remember him interviewing the young recruit on world of sport.

Gee, that game / time bring back some great memories

I’m speechless. Why do bad things happen to good people?

Here’s hoping for a miracle Neale!! :frowning:

Absolute ■■■■■■■ of a thing to have. Thoughts with him and his family, great bloke is neale

This bloke just can't catch a break. Playing career cruelled by injury. Coaching career cruelled by a club with no heart. Now his life is cruelled by a slow and inexorable disease that he has no hope of beating. Not fair that one person should have to suffer so much.

thats a really horrible disease. i just hope its not painful for him and that when he does pass away that he goes peacefully.

Very sad to hear this.



My dad was a fit 65 year old when we noticed him start to slur his words. A year later he was finally diagnosed with MND. Within 6 months of that he was dead.


Very sad to hear this.



My dad was a fit 65 year old when we noticed him start to slur his words. A year later he was finally diagnosed with MND. Within 6 months of that he was dead.

Sorry to hear that mate. 

Far out, 27 month ave life expectancy once diagnosed.

That’s not long at all.

When I saw the promo for it, I thought he might have 7-12 years left.

That’s awful, he’s still quite a young man.

@ -micinbeijing

That famous game you mentioned.

I remember it vividly also, as I too was in hospital nursing a badly broken elbow.

I was a year younger though (Grade 6).


For those 2 young to have seen it or those just want to enjoy it again.



Terrible News.  Thoughts and prayers with the Daniher family.  Hope his last years will be filled with love, joy, and happiness.  Hope he gets to see a Bomber flag too.

Heartbreaking to read…

A champion of our club & life in general,nobody deserves to suffer like that…

Thoughts & prayers with Neale & Daniher family…

The husband of one of my wife’s friends at Uni has just been diagnosed with this. Has been told at most he will last a year. Late 30s with 3 kids and a wife.

■■■■ of a disease.

That’s real sad news… Amazing guy from all reports from an amazing family.

Far out that is just ■■■■ news

■■■■■■ hell

I wish you and your family neale nothing but the absolute best. Hope they find some kind of miracle cure.

Massive kudos to him for using the time he has left to try to raise awareness about it. What a great man