Sir Ian Botham knows more than most about overcoming long odds for a sporting triumph.
Nearly three decades after the series now known as 'Botham's Ashes', the English cricket legend sent Collingwood a video message before their shock AFL preliminary final win over Richmond.
Botham goes back a long way with Magpies president Eddie McGuire.
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy was also in Collingwood's corner before Friday night, speaking to the team during the week.
"Big day boys - a terrific effort. The way they were all writing off Collingwood, at their peril, at the start of the season - the knives sharpening for the coach and everyone involved and Eddie," Botham said in the message.
"It's been a magnificent year. And what a difference a year makes.
"Yeah, they might be favourites, but many a favourite has fallen.
"It's all about what happens on the day and from what I saw in the last game, you could easily beat this lot. I really do believe that.
"So get out there, given them hell."
Botham had given up the captaincy in the '81 Ashes and England were on the ropes at 1-0 down.
He then repeatedly demolished Australia with bat and ball as England won the next three Tests and the series.
Botham noted in his message that he presented Nathan Buckley with his guernsey at Collingwood's 2000 season launch.
He said that "three old codgers" would watch Collingwood play Richmond - Botham, McGuire and Buckley.
Australian Associated Press