Banner disaster leaves fans in tears as Black Eyed Peas, Jimmy Barnes hit the ‘G

A big gust of wind shredded the Collingwood banner.

A big gust of wind shredded the Collingwood banner. Photo: Getty

If there was an omen for the superstitious before Saturday’s AFL grand final, it came just as Collingwood prepared to run on to the MCG.

As winds swirled around the famous venue, the big banner that Collingwood’s cheer squad had spent hours and hours making was torn to shreds.

It made for some puzzled looks from Magpies players as they made their way onto the ground, with only tattered remains of the banner left.

That was still held up by Collingwood fans, some of whom were distraught at watching their work on football’s biggest day literally torn apart.

But Magpies coach Nathan Buckley stopped to hug upset fans in a touching gesture just minutes before the opening bounce.

“Amongst the tears, Nathan Buckley comforting the cheer squad and saying ‘thank you very much’, despite what happened to the banner,” Seven Network commentator Brian Taylor said.

Speaking on 3AW Radio, former Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd said: “I hope that’s not an omen for them.”

Collingwood made light of the incident on the club’s official Twitter account.

And it did not appear to be any sort of omen in the early stages, with the Magpies kicking the first five goals of the match in a blistering start.

A crowd of more than 100,000 fans were watching at the MCG and they were entertained by Jimmy Barnes and Mike Brady before the grand final started.

The Black Eyed Peas also performed at the MCG but received mixed reviews, with many fans disappointed the band’s lead singer, Fergie, was no longer with them.

That was a small quibble, though, and certainly nothing to compare with the derision that welcomed Meat Loaf’s infamous debacle.

And while the Black Eyed Peas did not hit any great heights in a short three-song set, Barnes was a major hit with the crowd in a typically energetic performance.

The Eagles had no issues with their banner, but West Coast’s players were booed loudly as they ran on to the MCG.

Around 20,000 Eagles fans were inside the venue when play eventually started.

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