Archived Newsletters

Extracts from NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2017


Two time premiership Captain Terry Daniher did another outstanding job as MC at this year’s past Player Annual Dinner at the Windy Hill Social Club on Wednesday 27 September. Over 172 members and guests attended this year’s event.  Never one to stick to the running sheet, Terry delighted all those present with his impromptu interviews of Jobe Watson who was attending his first Annual Dinner and Tony Buhagiar who had travelled over from Perth for the event. Terry’s unique interviewing style not only had the audience in raptures but the interviewees as well.

EFC Chairman Lindsay Tanner was once again in attendance at this year’s dinner along with Board Members Catherine Lio and Simon Madden.  A large number of representatives from other AFL Past Player Associations also attended.

Another highlight in proceedings was the presentation of three Debut Guernsey presentations.  Mark Harvey presented Matthew Lloyd with his Debut Guernsey and whilst recognising Matthew’s outstanding playing career and his leadership ability, did his best to inform the audience of some colourful but largely unknown incidents from Matthew’s past. Despite how good Mark’s presentation, Matthew responded with a brilliant acceptance speech which was appreciated by all present.

Gary Grainger presented 100 game player from the late 60’s and early 70’s, Peter Daniel with his Debut Guernsey.  Both managed to provide some great insights from not only their on field actions but also some notable off field activities. Peter’s daughter is Zoe Daniel, a prominent ABC reporter.

The third Debut Guernsey was for Ron Kennedy and accepted by Ron’s nephew, Robert Horgan, who is a member of our Association, having qualified as a Reserve Grade player.

Ron passed away in 2006 and before his Debut Guernsey had been presented to him. Ron’s family had asked whether it was possible to obtain Ron’s Debut Guernsey as Ron was still alive in 2003, when the club introduced the Debut Jumper presentations.  Association President Barry Capuano arranged for a surprise presentation on the night with a number of Ron’s family in attendance. Ron Kennedy played 3 games for the club in 1944. The presentation was very well received by all in attendance.

Others who travelled from interstate for the function included Gary O’Donnell, Matthew Banks and Tony Buhagiar (all from Perth), Angus Monfries and Andrew Underwood (Adelaide), Geoff Gosper (Tweed Heads) and Peter Daniel (Launceston)

Kevin Dale enjoys the night with Angus Monfries.


Our comedian this year was none other than Lawrence Mooney. Lawrence is a lifelong Essendon fan and was in his element on stage where he thoroughly entertained all present with his jokes, repartee and brilliant impersonations. Lawrence was extremely pleased to receive a football signed by all past players at the event.

The playing number 18 has always been highly valued by the EFC and the attached picture gives you some indication why that is so. In the picture taken at this year’s dinner, are some great names in the history of Essendon including Paul Vander Haar, Matthew Lloyd, Barry Grinter, Reg Burgess and Greg Brown.

This event continues to grow year by year and is a real highlight.  It’s readily apparent to all present  just how strong  the bonds are that have been built up over the years and clearly demonstrates  the strength of this part of the EFC.   The Association now has 416 members across Australia.


The Daniher Drive this year attracted 100 cars and raised $2.1M for the MND Foundation plus $250,000 donated by the Premier, Daniel Andrews for the State of Victoria.

Our Major Sponsor, Sovereign Financial, is very supportive and active in this Drive, raising some $30,000 from the two cars they entered into the drive.

Sarah Connolly commented on behalf of Sovereign Financial,

“We had plenty of time during the Drive to observe and marvel at the brave and courageous fight that Neale, along with a very large immediate and extended family and their hard working team, is waging.”

Our Association is also great supporters of the MND Foundation and we all admire the fantastic work that Neale does in supporting this great cause. He should be considered as the “Australian of the Year” for the efforts he gives to this very worthwhile cause.

Some of our members participated in teams in the Drive.



 The following members have or will celebrate important birthday milestones between the

1st September and 31st December 2017.

60 years of age
Simon Madden
John Syme
Larry Watson
70 years of age +Peter Daniel (70)
Kevin Sheedy (70)
Graeme Jenkin (72)
Geoff Pryor (72)
Robert Wilson (72)
Charlie Payne (73)
Ian Stevenson (73)
Barry Davis (74)
Kevin Egan (74)
Noel Raitt (74)
Glenda Wade (74)
Garry Fenton (75)
Robert Horgan (75)
Russell Blew (76)
Alf King (76)
George Spero (76)
Barry Capuano (77)
Barry Matthews (77)
Max Byers (78)
Paul Doran (78)
Don Nicolson (78)
Ron Clarke (79)
Noel Freeman (79)

David Shaw (79)
80 years of age +Geoff Barber(80)
Trevor Elliott (80)
Les Pridham (80)
Brian Donohoe (81)
Colin Hebbard (81)
Bob Dunlop (82)
John Kilby (82)
Hugh Mitchell (83)
John Towner (84)
Rob Fox (86)
Max Nixon (86)
Ken Reed (86)
Brian Gilmore (88)
Merna Slattery (89)

90 years of age + Noel Allanson (92)
Jack Jones (93)
Gordon Yea (93)

We wish you all many more years of health and happiness.



 Years Played               1967-68, 1971 (Ian served in Vietnam in 1969-70)

 Games Played             27

 Numbers Worn          57 & 25

 Recruited From          Miga Lake                              

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

While in the Army (1969) played with Western Districts in the QAFL. Home ground was the “Gabba” and we finished 4th. West Perth1972-73 (4th and Runners Up), plus one game for WA. Port Hedland Rovers 1974 (Premiers). Coached Douglas-Harrow-Miga Lake in 1976 (Runners Up). Played a handful of games for Casterton in 1977 until kidney gave out.

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

Primarily worked in the hospitality industry in WA, with an 18 month stint with BHP at Port Hedland and two years on farm at Harrow. Now reside at Port Fairy.

Are you still working?  No

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

Right kidney removed. Knee and back niggles, but that’s probably old age.

Do you have any ongoing medical problems?

Only my shrink knows for sure.

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

Travesty if bounce downs uncertainty is dispensed with. Throwing the ball up will make the game mundane. Also remove the requirement for nominated ruck-men.

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

Being  a 16 years old hayseed straight off the tractor could have been tragic when let loose in the CBD back then (1965). Pedestrian lights indicated “walk” or “don’t walk”. Don’t walk I thought meant I had to run and was nearly cleaned up by a yellow cab. Bruce Dodson, another Wimmera farm boy told me he was dropped off at a flash city pub. He said, “I had never seen a lift let alone knew how to work the bastard!”

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

Kept in touch with Billy Thompson and Fletch the elder. Great to catch up with the other six blokes who went to Vietnam at the Associations pre Grand Final reunions.

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

For Essendon: Blew, Capuano, Epis, Clarke and Birt. The way they delivered the ball from the centre to the forwards was sublime. Robert Thompson and Wally Buhaj would have played many more games in any other team.

Other teams: Jezza & Polly

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

Feel privileged to have played a few games for the great club.


Bill Busbridge played for the EFC from 1904 to 1912, playing 104 games.

Bill was recruited from the Essendon Association team. He commenced playing four weeks before his 17th birthday and became a champion full back in his era although he was only 183cms tall and weighed 82.5kgs.

Bill played in the 1911 Premiership Team before a crowd of 43,905, in which they beat Collingwood by a goal 5.11.41 to 4.11.35, but he missed the 1912 Premiership due to injury.

He won the clubs best and fairest awards in 1908 and 1909 and represented the state in 1907, 1908 and 1912.

Bill was made a Legend of the club as one of the first 12 players inducted into the Hall of Fame.


It is great to see that Sean Wellman is standing for a place on the EFC Board. Sean, a member of our Association, has been a very valuable contributor to the club as a player, coach and as the Coach of the suspended players in 2016, and we wish him well in his endeavour to become a member of the EFC Board, as we believe he would be a very valuable asset to the club, should he be elected.




In 1992, at a meeting at Windy Hill at which the members voted in favour, 2,085 votes for and 413 against, the club made the decision to move playing its home games at the MCG. This move was brought about by the diminishing capacity of crowds at the ground, which had shrunk to a maximum of around 25,000. The largest crowd to watch a game at Windy Hill was 43,487 against Collinwood in 1966. Compared to the average home crowds in 2017 of 50,812, it was no doubt a wise move.

There is much uncertainty as to how the name “Windy Hill” came about. The Essendon Gazette referred to the “wind-swept Hill” as early as 1942, but it was not until the early 1960’s that the name “Windy Hill” stuck.

This photo of the 1948 Essendon Technical School (now Kangan Institute) football team included 5 players who went on to play VFL football, namely Stan Booth (second from left in second back row-102 games) and Mal Pascoe (4th from left in middle row-94 games) playing for Essendon, Jack Edwards (3rd from left in middle row) playing with Footscray (114 games), Norm Neeson (on right in middle row) playing with North Melbourne (5 games), and Rod Horrocks (on right of front row) playing for Hawthorn (4 games). Not a bad effort!

A 1923 Membership Card. The club Motto “Suaviter in modo fortiter in re” translates as, “Gently in manner, resolutely in execution”.



The club finished the 2017 season in a very healthy and strong position for future seasons. Considering the difficulties that the club and players have had to endure over the last four years, it was an excellent result, both from a financial perspective (namely a profit of $5.1m) and on ground performance perspective. Well done to all of those involved.

It is always sad to see top players retire, however the performances of Jobe Watson, Brent Stanton and, although not with the club for a long time, James Kelly, during their long careers has been exemplary, and we wish them all great success for the future in whatever career they follow.

We also congratulate all delisted players who have performed great service to the club during their time with the club and now welcome them as five year members of our Association, at no cost to them.

Our Association has spent the last twelve months in developing a future strategic planning document for the future, titled “On Target”, the details of which will be finalised at our last Committee meeting on the 28th November.

Many hours have been spent in compiling this document and much discussion has taken place at Committee meetings regarding the content of this document. The document will outline a future path for the Association including the following:

Increasing our Membership base.               Benefits available to members.

Sponsorship opportunities.                         Forging closer ties with the EFC.

Further development of our Website.          Development of social media.

Close involvement with the Hall of Fame.   Merchandise and memorabilia.

Future structure of Committee.                  Financial projections.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the Committee who assisted in compiling this document, as I believe it will be a valuable tool of guidance for future Committee members.

I would also like to thank those staff members at the EFC, including, Xavier Campbell, Kevin Dixon, Jessica Newman, Gregor McCaskie and Aysha Ward, who have assisted us in many areas during the year. Our association with the club is very special and envied by many other Associations.


 The following are extracts from a letter received by the club earlier this year, which is a great recognition of the Daniher family by locals from where they were brought up. If any of our members or readers is in a position to help, please contact Ray Smith.

“I know that you will be well aware of the Daniher Brothers, Anthony, Chris, Terry and Neale, all of whom played for the Essendon Football Club and who, in Round 22 of the 1990 AFL season made AFL history when all four brothers run onto the field for Essendon.

The birthplace and home of the Daniher Family is Ungarie, a small rural village just 42kms north of West Wyalong and the Ungarie community has approached council with a proposal to recognise the endeavours of the four brothers.

Their proposal involves the professional construction of a 5 meter high Sherrin Football mounted on a concrete base and with an accompanying interpretive panel highlighting some of the details of the four brothers.

The purpose of this letter is firstly to alert you to this project and secondly to ascertain if the Essendon FC would be interested in any kind of support, financially or in-kind, to assist with this community endeavour, particularly given the significance of the Daniher Family in the history of Australian Football and even more so in the history of your Club.”

[email protected]  Mob. 0409 443 128

Yours sincerely

Ray Smith

General Manager


 The Hall of Fame Selection Committee met during the year, and has now recommended to the EFC Board, that the following four people be inducted, as Members, into the Hall of Fame during 2018.

Neale Daniher


Harold Lambert

Roger Merrett

Dr. Ian Reynolds


Each of these individuals has given great service to the club over many years and thoroughly deserve the honour of induction into the Hall of Fame.

You will be notified as to when this induction will take place in the new-year.


To assist the club in ensuring that they have a pictorial history record of all teams that have represented the club since 1897, we are seeking any team photos for the following years: 1899,1905,1906,1913,1914,1915,1920, 1930, 1931,1933,1935, 1936,1937,1952,1958,1966,1967,1971,1974 and 1991.

We are also seeking individual photographs of players who played in these years as it may be possible to complete a montage from individual shots for the missing team photos. As part of our ongoing close association with the club, we will be assisting in finding as many photographs and club memorabilia for inclusion in the new Hall of Fame, which hopefully will be built in the next few years, and we would greatly appreciate any help from readers of our Newsletter.


As part of our future planning strategy, we are seeking any information available in respect to U19 teams that represented the club up until 1992, when the competition finished, and in particular, Annual Reports that were produced each year.

The family of Fred Robinson, who was Secretary of the U19 team for many years and produced the Annual Reports, may still have records available and if anyone knows any of these family members, we would be very grateful if you could contact us.

We would like to ensure that all players who played U19 football for the club are correctly recorded, so we would appreciate any information available.



Each year the 2000 Premiership Team celebrate their 2000 win and they certainly look like they were enjoying themselves this year. This is a great tradition, which follows other special eras in which a large number of the 1962 and 1965 Premiership teams dine together at least three times per year, and the 1984 and 1985 teams also regularly join together at special events. This is why the history and culture of the club is so highly regarded.


Leave a Reply