Richmond Football Club legend Neville Crowe was rescued from the Yarra River at the weekend after he lost control of his bicycle on a bend and careered into the water.
A passing jogger, who happened to be a life-long Tigers supporter, dived into the muddy river and pulled the 75-year-old club stalwart to safety with the help of other passers-by who formed a human chain to get him to the embankment.
John Green said he was out for his morning run along the Yarra in Richmond on Saturday when he saw a cyclist flailing in the water. The cyclist appeared to have misjudged a bend and had shot about eight metres off the edge of the bicycle path into the river.
It wasn't until Mr Green had dragged the man to the embankment that he recognised the former Richmond captain, who also served as club president from 1987 to 1993.
"As soon as he popped up I just grabbed him in a bear hug and dragged him as quickly as I could into the mud and onto the embankment so that he wasn't going to go back under the water," Mr Green told radio station 3AW.
"When I had a closer look I recognised that familiar moustache. My family have been Richmond members for a long, long time. My grandmother went for 40-odd years and missed about five games, so we're Richmond people through and through. I certainly recognised him straight away and told him he was in good hands and that was that."
Mr Green said Crowe was still remarkably fit for a 75-year-old and kept hold of his bicycle in the water.
"Thankfully he had surfaced and his head had popped up and I was able to drag him through the mud and up to the edge of the embankment and we formed a human chain and dragged him out," Mr Green said.
"He was a little bit shocked and bewildered, as you would be if you tumbled ... eight metres off your bike on a nice leisurely morning ride.
"Lucky he is so fit because I don't think he would have been able to drag himself to the surface of the water and get out if he wasn't so fit still."
Crowe's rescuers took him to a local business, where he was given coffee and kept warm while Mr Green phoned Richmond CEO Brendon Gale.
Mr Green than ran home and got his car before driving Crowe back to his Burwood home.
"The people that all helped out were fantastic as well. It wasn't just me," Mr Green said.
Crowe galvanised the Richmond Football Club during the 1990 Save Our Skins campaign, which saved the club from financial ruin. He is also well known for missing the 1967 VFL Grand Final through suspension, after he was reported in the second semi-final for striking Carlton ruckman John Nicholls.
Crowe insists to this day that he didn't punch Nicholls, that he slapped at him and the slap missed.