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Extracts from Newsletter Aug 2017


In the second year of the Farmers Round, the Bombers played Geelong on the MCG on Saturday May 13th. There were many stalls and entertainment for supporters outside the ground prior to the game, and Kevin Dale, a member of our Association and President of the Dick Reynolds Club and Collins Street Dons, was seen whipping up the boys before the game, it worked, because they had a great win.

This event has become a great annual match and will only grow bigger in future years. Well done Sheeds.

Two of our past players, Ian “Bluey” Shelton and Russell Blew, were invited to the Essendonians function prior to the game and are pictured with Peter Hughes, the President of the Essendonians.


The EFC has now officially submitted an application to the AFL to field a women’s team in the AFL in season 2019. As part of this application, we have confirmed that the same conditions would apply to women who represent the EFC at AFL or VFL to become members of our Association following their playing days, which we believe adds value to the application.

There is of course no guarantee that the EFC will be granted a licence in 2019, however at some time in the future there will be a women’s team representing the club, which we should all support wholeheartedly.

The article below should be of interest to all Bomber supporters.


The Van Diemen Dons were set up a few years ago and Kevin Sheedy suggested the name for the group to the leader of the group, Marti Zucco.

Marti organised a special function for members of the group in Hobart recently and had a number of special guests, including James Hird, in attendance. From all accounts it was a top event and it is great to see that James is getting back involved with the club.

Dustin Fletcher, James Hird, Kevin Sheedy and Paul Little enjoy the event.


Following the trauma that players and the club have had to endure over the last four years, it is great to see the team now gelling together and showing some great results on the field.

Although there are a few of the suspended players taking a little time to get back to top form, the overall balance of the team is looking very good and in particular there is now some great pace in the team. The way they are now playing indicates that they are a chance for the finals and they will give all of the teams they play a real run for their money.

We, like all supporters, look forward to the team becoming a force over the next few years and wish them all the success they deserve.


We offer our congratulations to members who have or will achieve significant age milestones between the 1st May and 31st August.

50 Years of agePeter Cransberg
Paul Hamilton
Andrew Underwood
60 years of ageBill Berry
Terry Daniher
Luisa Gaetano
Jack Mihocek
70 years of age +Robert Thompson (70)
John Williams (70)
David Collins (71)
Vic Papp (71)
Bruce Waite (71)
Ken Betts (72)
Graeme Langsworth (72)
Bruce Walmsley (72)
Jim Forsyth (73)
Ron Haeberle (73)
Neil McKissock (73)
John Booth (75)
Graeme Johnston (75)
Graeme Beissel (76)
Ted Fordham (77)
Geoff Gosper (77)
Doug Philipson (77)
Barry Tout (77)
Ken Timms (79)
80 years of age +Kevin Dellar (80)
Jim Matthews (80)
Gerry Backhouse (81)
Morton Diston (81)
Ray Lalor (81)
Fred Lynch (81)
Ian Whitford (81)
Jack Hambridge (82)
Kevin Parks (82)
Reg Burgess (83)
Frank Driscoll (83)
Ron Okey (83)
Peter Bevilaqua (84)
Peter Harrington (84)
Greg Sewell (84)
Graham Willey (84)
Robert Taylor (86)
Jim Stanton (89)
90 years of age + Milton Clark (95)
Harold Lambert (95)

We wish you all many years of health and prosperity.

There are a number of officials who have not supplied us with their birth dates, so if you would like to be recognised in the future please let us know your birth dates.


The EFC appointed Kim Brennan as the Number 1 member of the club earlier this year. This appointment is well warranted as Kim is an Olympic and World Champion in sculling events.

Kim is the daughter of Max and Sue Crow and follows their own sporting successes.

Well done to Kim on achieving this prestigious appointment.



 Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson was the first player to be registered as a player for Essendon in the VFL competition when formed in 1897.

He went on to play until 1905 and again in 1907, playing 142 games and was classed as a champion player in that era.

He was a member of the 1897 and 1901 Premiership teams and represented the State in 1903 and 1905.

He was Captain of the team in 1903.

He was also a Committee member in 1905.

Jim was recruited from Fitzroy Juniors in 1994 and played in the team, then in the VFA, until the start of the VFL.


We are currently looking at all avenues of increasing our membership numbers for those past players who are eligible to be members, i.e. having played one Senior game or a minimum of 20 Reserve games.

We believe we lead the way in assistance we are able to give to past players and are therefore very keen to ensure that all eligible past players are given the opportunity of becoming a member of our Association.

This drive includes contacting those that we have details of who, for whatever reason, are not members of our Association. We have lost contact details for a number of these players and if any of our members or readers are able to assist us with contact details it would be greatly appreciated:

Tony Delaney                                                Shane Harvey

Trevor Heath                                                 Don Mattson

Daniel McAllister                                         Graham Middleton

Michael Richardson                                     Steven Richardson

Justin Stubbs                                                 Brian Walsh

We are also checking through copies of the VFL/AFL Records to determine which Reserve Grade players may be eligible to join our Association for the periods 1951 to 1967, 1980 to 1982 and subsequent to 1999 as, unfortunately, neither the club nor the AFL have records of games played by Reserve Grade players during these periods. If anyone is aware of any Reserve Grade players who may be eligible to be members, who played during these periods, please contact Kelvin Steel on [email protected] or Barry Capuano on [email protected]

In respect to membership of our Association, we made the decision in 2015 to offer a five year free membership for all players retiring/delisted each season, to ensure that they are kept under the Essendon umbrella.

We took this action as we were concerned as to what was happening to players once they were out of the AFL system as, unfortunately, they don’t receive the same support as when they were playing. The AFLPA have an excellent exit program for these players, however this has restrictions over the longer term, their Managers will no longer be interested in them and the clubs are limited in what they can do for these players. We therefore felt that our Association was in the best position to assist these players, hence the reason for taking this action.

We have received some support from members in funding this program, however if any of our readers would like to assist us in supporting these memberships, we can offer a Sponsorship of $100 for the five year free membership for individual players. If any of our readers would like more details please contact David Collins on [email protected]


How would the modern player like these stats!

George Rawle, a member of the “Mosquito fleet”, who played from 1923 to 1925, played in the 1923 and 1924 Premiership teams and played a total of only 19 games for the club. He played 1 game in 1923 (the Premiership game), 17 games in 1924 (including the Premiership game), and 1 game in 1925.

Charlie Hardy, also a member of the “Mosquito fleet” (he was only 5 feet 3 inches – 160cms), who played from 1921 to 1925, played in the 1923 and 1924 Premiership teams, but only played 36 games during his career. He played 8 games in 1921, 14 games in 1922, 6 games in 1923 (including the Premiership win), 2 games in 1924 (including the Premiership win) and 6 games in 1925.

This combined under-age EDFL team produced 3 players who later played for the EFC, namely, Peter O’Sullivan (2nd from left in back row), Stan Booth (last on right in back row), and Greg Sewell (1st on left in middle row). The Coach, Tom Brooker later Coached the U19’s at Essendon.

Essendon won the 1949 and 1965 Premierships coming from 4th place on both occasions (final 4 system in those times), which had been only performed once by any other team to that time.


The VFA competition was formed in 1877 and the competition was made up of Senior and Junior clubs, Essendon at that stage being classed as a Junior club. This meant that when a Senior Club played a Junior club, the Senior club played with 20 players and the Junior club with 25 players.

The competition was made up of teams called: Victorian Railways, Ballarat, Standard, Williamstown, Albert Park, St. Kilda, South Melbourne, West Melbourne, Northcote, Melbourne, Victoria United, Hawthorn and Essendon, with Essendon winning 8 games during the season.

In 1879, Essendon now commonly referred to as the “Sash Wearers” (which is appropriate in today’s marketing) was the first team to score 10 goals in a match.

Essendon gradually become a powerful side and in 1890 finished third on the ladder. The next four years saw the club win the Premiership in each year, including 1893 in which they did not lose a game.

During this period, Essendon won 66 games, lost 3 and drew 8. In this period only goals were scored, Essendon kicking 552 to opposition goals of 258 (214%).

Albert Thurgood (on right of front row) came to the club in 1892 and became the champion of the colony in 1893 and 1894.


Name:                                      GREG BELL

Years played                           1975-1978

Games played:                         22

Number worn:                         28

Recruited from:                      Rupanyup 


What did you do, football wise, following your playing days with Essendon?

After leaving Essendon at the end of 1979, I coached Croydon in the Eastern District Football League for four years with limited success and retired from playing at the end of 1986.

What job/jobs did you pursue following your playing days, including what you are doing currently?

I worked for Telstra until I finished playing then left to work in the building industry for the last 25 years. I have been making and installing kitchens and still do so today.

Are you still working?  Yes

Have you suffered with any post football injuries and have any required surgery?

After retiring my body was in reasonable condition and still is today, although I do struggle with my knees.

Do you have any ongoing medical problems?

No health problems as such, the only issues are my knees which may require replacements after my working days.

What are your thoughts on the modern game, and how would you change any of the areas that you don’t like!

I was a bit disillusioned with the game a few years back but now take a lot more interest. I admire the skill level of today’s players but miss the spectacles of the game from our era, such as Vander Haar and Peter Knights in the late 70’s. I don’t like the short passing late in quarters and would like to see automatic play-on with any kick in the defensive 50 after a certain time in the quarter.

Do you have any special anecdotes from your playing time to pass onto other past players?

I do remember Jerka Jenkins taking control and getting us into the Lord Raglans back door after a Pleasant Sunday morning, can’t say too much but I did remember Steve Beaumont copping a black eye from a Ron Andrews haymaker, wasn’t intended for Steve as I remember. Great to have Ronnie as a friend I always thought.

Who were your mates in your playing days with Essendon, do you keep in touch?

I was privileged to play with a lot of greats of the game that went on to play in the 1984/85 Premierships, although I only catch up once a year, guys like Terry Daniher, Simon Madden, Gary Foulds, Ken Robert, Ron Andrews and a host of others always make me feel at home.

Who were the players you most admired in your playing days at Essendon?

For Essendon:  All the guys I began with I admired them all for their achievements of 1984/85.

Other teams:  Leigh Matthews, Phil Carmen (could have been the best).

Do you have any comments that you would like to pass on about your time at Essendon?

I had five very memorable years at Essendon and made many friends at the time although my time was cut short due to knee problems. I will always remember my time there and always felt at home when I go there.


The Ron Kirwan Tribute Committee, driven by Peter Jeffs, run a few functions each year to not only honour the great contribution that Ron made to the club but to also generate funds for charities. A function was held in the Hi Marque restaurant at Windy Hill on Friday 30th April which was specifically run to raise funds for the MND Foundation, with Neale Daniher as the special guest.An excellent crowd attended and Neale addressed the group and explained how the money raised through various functions was used to develop research programs, a number of which were showing great promise. Neale held the crowd spellbound by his presentation and without doubt not only clearly explained how the research programs were developing, but gained many supporters for the MND Foundation. He mentioned that some $8,000,000 was raised last year for the Foundation and was hopeful of raising at least $10,000,000 this year through the various events held to raise these funds. He was also hopeful that the State and Federal Governments would also contribute substantial funding for this great cause.

The work Neale has done for the MND Foundation has been simply outstanding and although he received an AM in the Queen’s Birthday Awards in 2016, most people consider that he should be recognised as the Australian of the Year.

Neale (in the middle of the back row) enjoys the day with those attending the function.


A great night was had by almost 100 diehard WA Bombers Supporters prior to the game against Fremantle on Saturday 6th May, hosted by local media personality Lachie Reid.

It was a busy night as there was a lot on the agenda for the night and all went along to plan. Guests for the evening included Catherine Lio, a Board member of the club, who gave the members an insight to running of the club now and for the future.

Mark Harvey gave a thorough preview of the game against Fremantle the next day and was a big hit for the guests.

Dustin Fletcher also attended and gave an insight to his illustrious career with the Bombers.

The WA Bombers made a presentation to Dustin to thank him for the pleasure he had given these supporters during his career.

Graham Moss, who is the patron of WA Bombers, was interviewed by Lachie Reid and I presented a print of a portrait to Graham on behalf of the Past Players for his career at Essendon.

We also presented a debut jumper to Kepler Bradley.

Also attending the function representing the Past Players were Mathew Banks, Russell Ellen, Billy Duckworth with apologies from Tony Buhagiar and Ben Doolan.

The night was full of auctions and raffles and a great result for the work done by Trevor Tann, Russell Ellen and their committee and was enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

Gary Grainger-Vice President EFCPP&OA.


Dan Eddy, the author of the Dick Reynolds book, has written a new book called, “Always Striving”, which features the key moments that have made the Essendon FC. This is a great read and will be available in August for $49.95 at bookstores and the EFC merchandise shop.


The DRC function held at the MCC Dining Room attracted around 500 attendees to celebrate Kevin Sheedy’s 50 years in VFL/AFL Football. The night was an outstanding success and all profits from the night will be used for the benefit of past players, including the topping up of the EFC Past Players Foundation Trust.

Kevin had all of his family present and he received a fair deal of banter and roasting from the speakers, Francis Bourke, Terry Daniher, Paul Salmon, David Matthews (the CEO of GWS) and Dr.Bruce Reid.

There were video tributes from Callan Ward, Eddie McGuire, Kevin Bartlett and Graham Allen, and Simon Madden had written a little ditty which he sang to the audience.

Kevin responded and was extremely appreciative of the club supporting the function, indicating that he had and still does enjoy his involvement with the club.

As usual, Tim Watson did a magnificent job as MC of the event.

Congratulations to the Committee of the DRC and staff members of the EFC for not only making this such a memorable event, but also for the great assistance they give to our Association in many other areas. A big well done!



Members and readers can now access our Website by clicking on our emblem on the home page of the EFC website.


The annual Premiership Players Dinner was held at 464 Church Street Ricmond on Saturday night the 15th July.

This event was initiated by David Evans, when he was President of the club, and is an event that Premiership players look forward to each year, as it gives them the opportunity of meeting up with current list players.

The current players were very relaxed on the night following their great win against St. Kilda the previous evening, and all mixed in well with the Premiership players.

Brendon Goddard interviewed Matthew Lloyd, Joe Misiti and Adam Ramanauskas about their Premiership experiences, and later the Captain, Dyson Heppell, interviewed 1984 and 1985 Premiership Captain Terry Daniher. This was an eye opening experience for the younger players who had not heard Terry speak previously, as not only is Terry a very funny man, his messages regarding attitude and determination to succeed are inspirational. Dyson did not get too many words in!

This event is one of the great historical and cultural functions run by the club and all Premiership players should make an effort to attend each year.

The way that current players speak and present themselves is a great credit to the club.



Name:                              JOHN BARNES

Years Played:                  1987-90, 2000-01

Games Played:                58

Numbers worn:                20 & 22

Premiership Player         2000

 What did you do, football wise, following your playing days with Essendon?

Played 144 games with Geelong-1992-99, Essendon Runner, Bulldogs Ruck Coach, Collingwood Ruck coach, Doutta Stars Senior Coach, Melton & East Keilor senior player.

What job/jobs did you pursue following your playing days, including what you are doing currently?

Hume City Council/ Salvation Army youth worker.

Are you still working?  Yes

Have you suffered with any post football injuries and have any required surgery?

Need two hip replacements. Also need a new back/knees (maybe a whole new body!)

Do you have any ongoing medical problems?

Epilepsy since 2013

What are your thoughts on the modern game, and how would you change any of the areas that you don’t like!

I haven’t got enough room to comment???

Do you have any special anecdotes from your playing time to pass onto other past players?

Drink beer, olive oil.

Who were your mates in your playing days with Essendon, do you keep in touch?

Dean Wallis-we see each other regularly, Mick Long and Adam Ramanauskas

Who were the players you most admired in your playing days at Essendon?

For Essendon: Chris Heffernan, Michael Long, Adam Ramanauskas, Dustin Fletcher.

Other teams:   Kelvin Templeton, Barry Stoneham, Paul Couch

Do you have any comments that you would like to pass on about your time at Essendon?

Loved it.


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