“THIS is a very special place to me.”

When describing his football journey to someone who doesn’t know his story, Mil Hanna was quick to tug on the heartstrings.

The much-loved premiership Blue was back at Ikon Park on Tuesday, catching up with Anthony Rahayel — the popular Lebanese food blogger and Carlton’s newest member.

Hanna is well aware of the ‘All of Us’ nature when it comes to the Carlton family: he was the first Lebanese-born player in the VFL/AFL and is a member of the Club’s Hall of Fame.

05:20 Mins
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Mil Hanna returns to Ikon Park

Premiership player Mil Hanna returns to Ikon Park to talk to famous food blogger Anthony Rahayel from 'NoGarlicNoOnions'.

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Speaking to the man behind the ‘No Garlic No Onions’ handle, Hanna said the return to Royal Parade evoked special memories.

“It’s quite surreal, actually. I was here when I was 15 and I’m 54 now… it means a lot to me,” Hanna said.

“It made up half of my life and I have some amazing memories out on this ground.

“I look around and think about some of the massive games we played here and the crowd roaring — it’s a special time in your life.”

Of course, Hanna is very familiar with Carlton as a club and suburb, with his family having settled in East Brunswick.

Initially started out as an under-19s player in 1982, Hanna ultimately earned his senior debut in 1986 before retiring in 1997.

01:16 Mins
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Honour the past | Mil Hanna

Watch the best of Carlton great Mil Hanna in the No.13 guernsey.

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While the return to Carlton was a poignant one, it won’t compare to what’s going to come for the former No.13.

“I’ve been in Australia for that many years: I started at Carlton when I was 15 and played until I was 32,” he said.

“I came to Australia when I was five and, believe it or not, I actually have not been back to Lebanon. I’m really excited in the next year or two because the whole family - my son, my wife and my daughter - are planning a trip back in 2021.

“It’s going to be a bit of a homecoming for me. It’ll be quite a sentimental and emotional journey back to where I was born in the village which I can’t remember much of as a five-year-old.”

Having welcomed Rahayel to be the latest member of the Carlton Football Club, Hanna’s message to him said it all.

“Welcome to Carlton, welcome to Melbourne. You’re a part of the family now, you’re a Carlton member,” he said.

“You’ve got a beautiful jumper with my old number on it.

“Spread the love around the world about Carlton, about what you do and hopefully we see you here again soon.”