THE QUEEN’S Birthday clash between Melbourne and Collingwood is no longer just a game of footy.

It’s an opportunity to raise vital funds and help beat 'The Beast': Motor Neuron Disease.

Neale Daniher has inspired many during his seven-year battle with the incurable illness, but none more than Adam Tomlinson.

“Jan (Neale’s wife) and mum are really close friends – they’ve been friends for a long time,” Tomlinson told Melbourne Media.

“I played footy with Ben, Neale’s youngest son, and I’ve known the Danihers as long as I’ve been alive.

“My sisters played netball with all his daughters, so the Tomlinsons and Danihers are really close.

“It’s a great friendship that we’ve been able to have and it’s pretty hard to watch and see … how this disease has crippled Neale.

“But at the same time, it’s been amazing to see how the family has tackled it and what we see on Monday is just what they’ve started.”

Tomlinson’s 2021 season has been challenging in its own right, with the key defender suffering an ACL injury in Round 7.

But when he received a special text post-game, he quickly found some perspective.

“I got a message from Jan on behalf of Neale and the rest of the family,” he said.

“It’s pretty funny to think that a person going through what he’s going through has still got the time and effort to message me.

“At the end of the day it’s a pretty small thing.

“I’m going to play footy again, I’m going to be back out running very soon, and for him to message me it’s a wonderful thing.”

To help Fight MND, click here.