On 1 April, 1995, captain Ben Allan led the Fremantle Dockers out onto the MCG to play Richmond in the club’s first official AFL game.

This Saturday, 18 August at Patersons Stadium, against the same opponent, the club reaches a significant milestone in its history when it plays its 400th official match.

Among our 164 wins was the first Derby success over the West Coast Eagles in round 16, 1999.

A first appearance in the finals came in 2003, when a young Freo side was defeated by a James Hird inspired Essendon at Subiaco Oval.

After a top four finish in 2006, club great Peter Bell captained the side to its first win in a final with victory over Melbourne in front of a joyous Subiaco Oval crowd.

A week later, Freo fell short of an historic berth in the AFL Grand Final when the Sydney Swans beat it in a Preliminary Final at ANZ Stadium in what still stands as a record crowd of 61,373 for games involving Fremantle.

There has been a host of champions pull on the Freo jumper over the years.

From Shaun McManus, who inspired an entire club by overcoming numerous obstacles to carve out a brilliant career, to Shane Parker, who displayed all the traits of the consummate professional.

But there have been none better than the man who will lead the club onto Patersons Stadium on Saturday – Matthew Pavlich.

‘Pav’ as he is affectionately known to his loyal supporters, has been nothing but inspirational throughout his 275 games to date at Fremantle.

The captain makes his own bit of history in the club’s 400th game by joining Eagles’ legend Glen Jakovich on 276 and a share of the most games played by a WA-based AFL player.

The club’s loyal fans will wait for the next Shaun McManus and Matthew Pavlich, the next finals win and the first Grand Final appearance.

Those in attendance at Patersons Stadium on Saturday can help celebrate the club’s first 400 games by ‘high-fiving for Freo’ in a world-record attempt at quarter-time.

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