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Extracts from Newsletter December 2020


Most unfortunately, Bruce passed away on the 27th October 2020. Bruce, together with Dr. Ian Reynolds, was appointed as the club doctor from the start of 1982 and served the club in that role until 2018, when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He still continued to be involved at the club until 2020 when his illness curtailed the time he could spend passing on his advice.

Bruce spent in excess of 38 years at the club and during that time not only looked after the health and fitness of all players who played during this time, but continued to look after many of those players, and their families, following their playing days at Essendon. This also applied to many officials of the club during and after their time at the club.

Bruce was a very outgoing person with a great sense of humour and was loved by all who knew him. He will be a huge loss to the EFC and football generally, as he had a major input into the health and fitness of those involved in the industry.

Bruce was only just recently upgraded from a Member of the EFC Hall of Fame to a Legend, an award greatly deserved for such a tremendous person.

Bruce, we salute you for the great man and friend you were to so many people.

Our condolences are expressed to Judy and all members of the Reid family.



Our congratulations are extended to former player Damien Hardwick, who coached the Richmond Football Club to its third Premiership in four years, which is an outstanding performance. Damien played 153 games for Essendon between 1994 and 2001 and was a member of the 2000 Premiership Team.
The current Richmond team would have to be regarded as one of the best teams ever in the VFL/AFL competitions and is a real tribute to Damien’s coaching abilities.



Dan Eddy, a strong supporter of the club and author of the Dick Reynolds and Always Striving books, has approached past players to take photos of themselves in their old club jumpers, indicating that they are ready to “don the sash” if required. This is a light hearted way of showing supporters of the club that past players have had a great influence in developing the history and culture of the club and are still very supportive of the club, even during difficult times. These photos are being shown on Dan’s social media platforms shown below, with more to follow, so tune into Dan Eddy on facebook, linkedin, instagram or twitter. Dan would appreciate any past players to send him a photo in your club jumper to add to the collection.



What a year we have all endured!, lets hope that things will improve greatly in 2021.

Our Association has been as active as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and hopefully have kept you all up to date with what has been happening with our Association and the EFC.

The club itself has had an extremely difficult year on and off the field, and no doubt all of our members, who have all made some contribution to the history and culture of the club, would feel somewhat agrieved with what has happened at the club.

Without doubt, for a club to be successful everyone associated with the club needs to work together as a “team” and anyone who believes they are bigger than the club will only have an adverse effect on the clubs culture and this may be a reason that the club is in the current situation. In this respect the club needs to recapture its culture and needs to lead from the top. It would appear that the new President, Paul Brasher, is already making strong progress in this area and introducing Kevin Sheedy to the Board is a very positive step, as he was a major influence in developing a strong club culture during his time as Coach of the club .

The team effort not only needs to come from the top, but all staff, coaches and current players need to take an active role in creating the club culture. Our Association has had some constructive talks with the club and have presented a paper in respect to how we can play a part in assisting in redeveloping the club culture and hopefully this will see positive results in 2021. This will be very important from the clubs perspective, as they have lost a number of very good staff due to the cost cutting measures required, some as directed by the AFL, to ensure that the club remains financially viable in the future. We therefore believe that we can assist the club in a number of areas which in turn may need us to call on some assistance from our members.

Obviously, our aim is to support the club as much as we can and it becomes very important that we remain positive in respect to the direction the club is heading.


By David Collins

On 26th November, Barry Capuano celebrated his 80th birthday with his beloved family.

A feature of the day was the presentation by the EFCPP&OA, of a Tribute Book entitled “Cappy”.

The book details Barry’s outstanding contribution to Australian Rules Football and to the Essendon Football Club in particular. It contains 55 memories and messages from premiership team-mates, former EFC players, officials and many others who have had close relationships with Barry since 1958. The stories range across his time as a player at EFC, playing and coaching careers at Mitcham, Eltham and Stawell footy clubs, the 1980’s when he served as EFC’s General Manager, his time as AFL General Manager. Also, Barry’s remarkable contribution to the EFCPP&OA beginning in 2000 that continues to this day. The book contains many photographs of Barry, past players, officials and lists his career highlights.


This record will provide an everlasting reminder to the Capuano family of Barry’s many and varied roles with the EFC and the absolute esteem in which he is held by all who had the good fortune to know him.

Former EFC Board member and now an EFCPP&OA Committee member, Jo-Anne Albert deserves thanks and recognition for conceiving the idea and editing the book. Well done Jo-Anne.
A special thanks to everyone that made contributions to this project. In true red ‘n black tradition it reflects the best of commitment and community.

This book will book become an important part of the history and culture of the EFC and is a very timely and important reminder to all EFC people that these are the things that have made the EFC a great Club in the past.

Following are some comments made by contributors to the book after seeing the final version:

I loved reading all the comments from each person a great variety of compliments that are truly well deserved. Noel Judkins

….. strengthening the culture and traditions of our Club through this superb and fully deserved tribute. Barry has been such a “pillar of strength” for the club for such a long time.  I am certain he and his family will get great enjoyment from the book for many years to come. Ken Fraser

…heritage and culture – this captures it all. Ray Horsburgh

Many of us are avid readers of Essendon history and this is right up there with the best … Cappy thoroughly deserves this. Robert Shaw



Glenda Wade

I joined the Essendon Cheer Squad in 1993 along with 4 of my nieces, my children having already grown up.

In 1997, I stood for and was elected to the Cheer Squad Committee after being told by my brother to stop complaining (about what I saw as inappropriate management) and “do something about it”.

I remained on the committee until 2000 when EFC decided to disband the committee and appoint Luisa Gaetano and myself as joint Cheer Squad Coordinators.

Luisa retired at the end of 2015 and I continued as sole Coordinator, with the help of committed and reliable Cheer Squad Members, from the beginning of 2016.

When asked by EFC if I was comfortable in taking on the job by myself I agreed with the proviso I didn’t do any media interviews.  A phone call to the club, asking if I could be of any assistance when the drug saga hit us, quickly changed that. The response was immediate,” yes do media interviews”. I was not at all comfortable
with this but One has to do what one has to do … I mustered all my courage and was interviewed by every media outlet in Australia, radio, TV and newspapers. Along the way, with the club’s approval I asked for 2 other members to help as the requests for interviews didn’t stop for quite a while.

In 2018 EFC made another change and decided to reappoint a committee, myself being one of the members. At the same time, they changed the name of the Cheer squad to the Bomber Squad.
This Committee currently remains in place.

For most of my involvement with The Squad I have acted as Treasurer and continue in this role. Some of my other duties are or have been, liaising with EFC on many different issues, arranging Hall Hire for banner making with MVCC, attending AFL Cheer Squad League meetings although I have recently delegated that job to another committee member and organising seating tickets for members at interstate matches.

Over this time, I’ve seen many members come and go, experienced the highs and lows of being an Essendon Member, travelled to many interstate matches and made some wonderful lifelong friends.

Although it hasn’t always been smooth sailing I would not hesitate to do it all over again.

In 2013 I was privileged to be made a Life Member of Essendon Football Club not only for my commitment to The Cheer Squad but also for years of volunteer work.


On the 70th Anniversary of the 1950 Premiership Team there are some interesting notes in the 1950 Premiership Documentary compiled by Bill Brittingham in 1988:

In the Statement of Receipts and Disbursements for the season,
– Membership Receipts totalled 4,343 pounds and 18 shillings ($8,687.80)
–  Gate Receipts 3,556 pounds 5 shillings and 4 pence ($7,112.53)
–  Player payments were 2,281 pounds 10 shillings ($4,563). The Coulter Law applied at that stage, match payments being 4 pound ($8) per game and Reserve grade payments 10 shillings per game ($1)
–  Coach and training staff costs of 849 pounds 2 shillings ($1,698.20).

In the recently published book “Champions All- A history of AFL/VFL Football in the players own words”, written by Matt Zurbo, there are many interesting quotes, one of which by Barry Davis regarding John Coleman, “When Coleman became coach he used to have lots of end-to-end kicking. He’d be standing chatting to you, and say “Excuse me….”and just go up and take a mark over Ken Fraser”.

The longest serving President of the EFC was Wally Crichton (The Best & Fairest Award is named in his honour) who served from 1941 to 1959, during which time the club won 4 Premierships.

Some shots from 1981, Kevin Sheedy’s first year as Coach. The hair styles have changed somewhat!!


Congratulations to Kevin Sheedy on being appointed to the EFC Board, let’s hope that he can instil some ‘heart and soul’ into the club as he did in 1981.

This is the last U19 Essendon Team when the competition finished in 1991. A number of these players went on to play senior football, namely for Essendon, Mark Mercuri, Joe Misiti, James Hird, Paul Hills and Rick Olarenshaw, who all went on to play in Premiership teams, Glenn Manton who went on to play with Carlton after Essendon and Brett Mongomery who player for the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide.



The following Members have or will achieve significant birthday milestones between the 1st September and the 31st December 2020.
60 years of age :  Bruce Connor, Michael Sheldon, Darren Williams.

70 years of age +:  Neil King (70), Rod McFarlane (70), Stuart Barclay (71), Robin Close (71), Gary Grainger (71), Les Stillman (71), Ian Anderson (72), John Ellis (72), John Fanning (72), Iain Findlay (72), Roger Hampson (72), Ray Smith (72), Ron Thomas (72), Peter Daniel (73), Kevin Sheedy (73), Gary Crouch (74), Graeme Jenkin (75), Geoff Pryor (75), Robert Wilson (75), Charlie Payne (76), Ian Stevenson (76), Barry Davis (77), Kevin Egan (77), Michael Maplestone (77), Noel Raitt (77), Glenda Wade (77), Garry Fenton (78), Robert Horgan (78), Russell Blew (79),
Alf King (79), George Spero (79).

80 years of age +: Barry Capuano (80), Barry Matthews (80), Max Byers (81), Paul Doran (81), Don Nicholson (81), Ron Clarke (82), Noel Freeman (82), David Shaw (82), Geoff Barber (83), Les Pridham (83), Brian Donohoe (84), Colin Hebbard (84), Robert Dunlop (85), John Kilby (85), Hugh Mitchell (86), John Towner (87), Robert Fox (89).

90 years of age +: Brian Gilmore (91), Merna Slattery (92), Noel Allanson (95).

Associate Members
70 years of age +: John Luscombe (73), Geoff Robinson (73), George Luscombe (78), Ray Colliss (79), John Robinson (79).

80 years of age +: Wally Johns (83).

DRC Members
70 Years of age +: Kevin Chambers (72), Frank Levy (73), Graeme Brown (76), Jeff Richards (76), Peter Burrows (77), Graham Crouch (78), Denis Moroney (78).

80 years of age +: Buzz Buzaglo (80), Patrick Matthey (83).

We wish all of our birthday members many more years of health and happiness.


On hearing of Bruce Reid’s passing, Gary O’Donnell organised a group of past EFC players living in Western Australia to meet and have a drink in memory of Bruce Reid, all of whom, at some stage, had been treated by Bruce. This shows the great respect that the players had for Bruce.




From left: Ben Doolan, Michael Prior, Brendan Lee, Simon Eastaugh, Travis Colyer, Cory Dell’Olio, Gary O’Donnell, Jackson Merrett, David Myers, Ben Howlett and Nick Kommer.




Our website and social media platforms are being upgraded regularly and we would encourage our members and followers to check out whenever possible. We have facebook, instagram and twitter platforms which all improve our interface with followers of our Association.

With Christmas fast approaching there are many items of merchandise available through our website Shop and it would be wise to get in early if you would like to receive before Christmas.

The website address is



Fred Baring
Played 1910-1915, 1918-1924
Played 155 games
Kicked 92 goals.

Fred was a ruckman-defender and played in Essendon’s 1911, 1912, 1923 and 1924 Premiership Teams. He was best and fairest player in 1913 and was Captain of the team in 1918.
Fred was also a star cricketer and was selected to tour South Africa in 1914-1915 but the tour was abandoned due to the 1st World War. He player Sheffield Shield cricket for Victoria from 1911 to 1928.

He is a Member of the EFC Hall of Fame.




The Committee of the EFCPP&OA would like to wish all of our members and readers a great festive season and healthy and prosperous New Year.

Although it has been a difficult year for us all we all look forward to next year in the hope that we will have no further restrictions placed on us and that the team performs well in an environment that we can actually go and see them play.

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