Committee Structure

President: David Collins

Deputy President: Darryl Gerlach

Secretary: Charlie Italia

Treasurer: Ken Gilbertson

Committee Members:

Barry Besanko

Gary Grainger

Graham Leydin

Ryan O’Connor

Jason Johnson

Sue Anderson

Iain Findlay

Since the formation of the Association in 1953, the Senior Office Bearers have been:


Harry Hunter – 1953-1957

Frank Maher – 1958-1968

Les Griggs – 1969-1970

Bob Drummond – 1971-1990

Jack Hickey – 1991-1997

Ted Leehane – 1998-1999

Kevin Parks – 2000-2005

Graeme Schultz – 2006-2010

Barry Capuano – 2011-  March 2021

David Collins – March 2021- Present


Pop (H) Lee – 1953-1962

Alby Jacobson – 1963-1980

Bill Gnaden – 1981-1995

Darren Rickey – 1996-2000

Barry Capuano – 2000-2010

David Collins – 2011 – March 2021

Charlie Italia – Mar 2021 – Present


Duffy (E) Plummer – 1953-1954

Wally Collis – 1955-1977

Keith Waters – 1978-1995

Darren Rickey – 1996-1999

Jerry Backhouse – 2000-2003

Don Gross – 2004 – 2021

Ken Gilbertson – 2021-Present

The Association became an Incorporated Association in 2011.

EFCPP&OA recognises members who have been awarded with Life Membership for their service to the Association:

2023 Kevin Dale, Susie Norton, John Della
2022 Barbara Cullen OAM and Kevin Dale
2021 Don McKenzie, Greg Brown OAM and Barry Besanko
2019 John Kilby,  Allan Dunn
2018 Greg Sewell
2017 David Collins,  Jack Jones,  Graham Leydin
2016 Darryl Gerlach,  Charlie Payne,  Harold Lambert
2014 Don Gross,  Ron Kirwan
2012 Jack Feain,  Robert Cannan
2011 Emil Eugene, Colin Hooper
2010 Bruce Reid,  Ian Reynolds,  Barry Capuano
2009 Gary Grainger,  Ron Hare,  Bruce Heymanson,  Alan McGillivray
2007 Graeme Schultz,  Ian Browning,  Peter Harrington,  Albert Wilson
2001 Ted Leehane
1996 Kevin Parks
1993 J Benson
1992 William Brittingham

About the Association

The EFCPP&OA has always had a great relationship with the Essendon Football Club and on many occasions have worked together to achieve specific outcomes. Some major joint programs include:

In 2004 the EFCPP&OA approached the EFC with a proposal to jointly develop a past players foundation trust to assist past players who were suffering financial hardship and were not able to maintain their normal living standards. The EFC agreed to this proposal and the EFC Past Players Foundation Trust was formed, with each group donating $25,000 to initiate the fund. The topping up of this fund, on a year by year basis, was provided by profits generated by the Dick Reynolds Club functions, however, since the Association has now taken over the running of the DRC, the EFC have agreed to top up the fund each year within certain guidelines. Since the start of the EFC Past Players Foundation Trust, in excess of 30 past players and their immediate families have been assisted and will no doubt require further funds in the future.

In 2015 the Association decided to increase the balance of the fund over a five year period by donating $10,000 per year which together with income derived from the DRC Annual Golf Day, should see the fund with a minimum balance of $150,000 by the end of 2020.

We would always welcome any assistance from supporters should they wish to contribute to the fund, by contacting Barry Capuano on [email protected]

The EFCPP&OA are extremely grateful to the EFC for their continued support of this important program.

The current Trustees of the EFC Past Players Foundation Trust are Ray Horsburgh, Greg Brown and Barry Capuano.

The EFC initiated the presentation of Debut Jumpers for all living past players of the Club in 2003.

The Debut Jumper represents an historical and performance record of each individual. The reference to Debut actually refers to the number that the player was registered with the VFL/AFL, and as only 1,150 players (to the end of 2017) have represented the EFC since the formation of the VFL in 1897, it is easy to understand why the recipients so highly regard these presentations, particularly as this is unique within the AFL industry.

Other information on the jumper includes: Years played, games played, playing number and any milestones, e.g. playing in a premiership team, best & fairest etc.

Of the 1,163players who have represented the EFC to the end of 2019 (excluding the 33 still playing):

116 (10.4%), played only one game. 41.7 Games is the average number of games played by all past players. The average playing careers of past players is 3.7 years.

In 2008 the EFCPP&OA became directly involved with organizing Debut Jumper presentations, and as part of this program is actively attempting to locate every living past player to ensure that their jumper is presented as soon as practical.

The intent of the Debut Jumper program was to present the jumpers to players at least three (3) years after their retirement from AFL football.

During 2015, the Association presented a Discussion Paper to the club regarding the development of a past player welfare and assistance program, seeking their assistance in utilizing club facilities to help in developing this program. The intent of this program is to develop a wide range of networking opportunities available to past players following their playing days, and could cover any field available to them through our own member base, Coterie group members and various major supporters of the club, including club Sponsors. This program, named the Top Mark Network, is now fully operational and we believe that this program will be of great benefit to all past players and will lead the way in the AFL competition.

The Association now has a work station at the club, which enables a close working relationship with club staff in developing this program.

In 2017 the Association put together a long term strategic plan for the Association, named On Target, which covers all aspects of the future development of the Association. Part of this program was to ensure that all players who played for the club be given the opportunity of becoming a member of our Association, and following a Special Meeting of the Association in March of 2018, at which the full program was approved by the Members, an Associate Membership was formed.

The Associate Membership allowed us to invite past Reserve and U19 players who did not qualify for full members to become Associate Members.

We are looking for Essendon history

Ever played with for Essendon? We would love to hear from you!
Do you have any images of past Essendon players or events? We would love to see them!

Do you have any stories about or memories you would like to share with us? We would love to hear from you!

Contact EFCPP&OA President

You can contact our President David Collins -President Directly if you have any questions or want to share your stories via email [email protected]