AFL legend Doug Hawkins is lucky to be alive after he was struck by lightning while taking shelter in a tin shed at his workplace during a massive thunderstorm.
The beloved 350 player player returned to work in Melbourne city center on Friday, hours after he was rushed to hospital feeling unwell and with chills down his left arm.
Hawkins, 62, compared the terrifying experience to playing against Hawthorn Hawks arch-rival Robert DiPierdomenico in the 1980s, jokingly recalling the life experience that “scared the hell out of him.”
He had just started work on the Yarraville site on Thursday when a freak storm hit Melbourne, forcing the former player, also known as Dancing Dougie, to duck for cover.
Hawkins says the powerful storm, which left 50,000 homes and businesses without power, was the loudest rumble he’s ever heard.
Doug Hawkins was rushed to the hospital after being struck by lightning Thursday morning.
“Never in my life have I experienced the thunder we had at Yarraville,” Hawkins said. nine news.
‘It scared the hell out of me.’
‘The box actually shook for 5-10 seconds.’
“I was too scared to get out of the box to run to my car, which was about twenty feet away.”
But I was too scared to go. The big tough football player, Dougie, was actually too scared to come out.
He described the experience as almost terrifying like playing DiPierdomenico, a Brownlow medalist and five-time presidential winner, in his prime.
“This compares to playing Dipper in the ’80s when you play him on the wing when the ball is loose and you don’t know where it’s coming from,” Hawkins quipped.
“You just didn’t know where the big guy is, in fact, he was probably scarier than thunder.”
‘It was a walk in the park compared to playing against Dipper!’
Doug Hawkins (pictured in action in 1992) is a legend in the Footscray/Western Bulldogs
When Hawkins finally reached his car, he immediately felt unwell and suspected something was wrong.
After a colleague told him he looked pale and cross-eyed, the father-of-three called former Bulldogs club doctor and friend Jake Landsberger, who told him to go directly to the hospital.
He assured 3AW hosts Ross and Russel on Friday morning that he was feeling much better after being released from the hospital.
“I’m back,” he said.
“The ECG went very well and thank God I had someone behind me looking after me.”
Doug Hawkins (pictured) returned to work Friday joking about the terrifying experience, hours after he was struck by lightning.
Hawkins played 329 games for the Footscray (now known as the Western Bulldogs) over 17 seasons, including three as captain.
He played one final season with Fitzroy before retiring in 1995.
Hawkins was a panel member for the AFL Footy Show in the mid-1990s before signing on with rival Channel Seven show Live and Kicking.
He ran as Clive Palmer’s United Party candidate for a Victorian Senate seat in the 2013 federal election, but was unsuccessful.
His wife Raelene dragged him to a Harry Styles concert in 2017 after she won tickets on a radio station.
Hawkins had never heard of the former One Direction star at the time.
I’d rather watch The Eagles or American or Bread. I don’t want to go see it,” Hawkins told Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam and Browny.
‘He was with who? I have never heard of them.
I used to kick in one direction. I can’t be doing this… this is a dung heap.
Doug Hawkins is one of the greats of the game with 350 appearances and 227 goals