The last time the Melbourne Demons played in a Grand Final in 1964, Tasmanian footballing royalty stood firm at full-back.
Robert "Tassie" Johnson, the burly Northern Tasmanian, had crossed to the Demons in 1959 just in time to win two premierships.
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Launceston-born Johnson crossed from the then Northern Bombers, but he was not bringing success with him.
His home state side had won not won a premiership for nine years by the time he joined the Demons.
There may perhaps not be a player who exemplifies the turning fortunes of the Melbourne Football Club quite as well as Tassie.
After winning a premiership in his first season, the miserly defender turned inspirational captain led his team to its first wooden spoon in 18 years.
From the year he retired until 2021, the Demons only returned to the Grand Final two more times as their on-field success virtually left with the departure of Tassie.
Such was the man's dominance on the field he was named at full-back in both the Tasmanian team of the century and the Melbourne team of the century.
Johnson sadly died in 2015 after a long battle with illness, but not before he made sure his Tasmanian and Demons legacy would live on.
Daughter Elly Johnson said despite her father no longer being around, she had felt his presence throughout the Demons dream run to the 2021 AFL Grand Final.
"There were a couple of little things that happened and I was just like, 'oh, you're around dad, you're watching this'," she said.
Ms Johnson said her father's Demon love had endured through his entire life, and was passed on to all of his family members.
"The story goes that when my older brother was born there was a red and blue ribbon tied onto his crib. We were all indoctrinated as Demons fans from birth," she said.
After his playing career had finished, Johnson moved to Queensland where he virtually started a new life. He married Lynne Johnson and with their matrimony his second family was entrenched in red and blue as well.
Step-daughter Donna White said even in his death, the Johnson Queensland home was adorned with Tassie's Demon-days memorabilia.
"He'd be ecstatic about the Demons having made the Grand Final again," Ms White said.
A Melbourne victory on Saturday night would see the legacy Tassie Johnson legacy come full-circle.
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