AFL TeamsEssendon Bombers

The History Of The Essendon

The History Of The Essendon 

The Essendon Football Club is a professional Australian Rules Football club with a rich history dating back to approximately 1872. The club was founded by the McCracken family at their Ascot Vale residence, “Alisa.” The first recorded game took place on 7th June 1873, where Essendon faced off against a Carlton second team. Initially a member of the Victorian Football Association from 1878 to 1896, Essendon was among the eight founding clubs that established the Victorian Football League in October 1896, which has since evolved into the Australian Football League (AFL). The club has called various grounds home, including the Essendon Recreation Ground (Windy Hill) from 1922 to 2013, before relocating to The Hangar, situated on land owned by Melbourne Airport. Essendon currently plays its home games at both Docklands Stadium and the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with Zach Merrett serving as the club’s captain.

History Of The Essendon
History Of The Essendon

Essendon, Australia’s most famous and successful football club, has won 16 VFL/AFL Premierships. This is more than any other club, including Carlton or Collingwood. The club has won four consecutive VFA Premierships from 1891 to 1894. This feat is unmatched in the history of that competition. Essendon is also the only club in history to have won a premiership during their first season (1897). Essendon, though, hasn’t been able to achieve any significant success on the field in the 21st century. Its last premiership was in 2000, and its last final in 2004.

In the early to mid 2010s, the AFL, independent regulatory bodies, and the Essendon team were the subject of a joint investigation by the AFL, into the alleged use of illegal substances in the season. This led to the suspension of 34 players for two years, a fine of $2 million, and their disqualification from the finals series. The investigation found that no Essendon player had ever tested positive for any banned substance.

Early Success

Essendon quickly became a powerhouse in the Victorian Football Association (VFA) and later in the Victorian Football League (VFL), which eventually evolved into the Australian Football League (AFL). The club won its first VFL premiership in 1897, the inaugural year of the competition.

Dick Reynolds Era

One of the most influential figures in Essendon’s history is Dick Reynolds, who played for the club from 1933 to 1951 and coached from 1939 to 1960. Under Reynolds’ leadership, Essendon won seven premierships, solidifying its dominance in the 1940s and 1950s.

Essendon Football Club Team Carrying 2000 Premiership Trophy
Essendon Football Club Team Carrying 2000 Premiership Trophy

Essendon Home Grounds

The Essendon Football Club, also known as the Essendon Bombers, plays its home games at Marvel Stadium (formerly known as Etihad Stadium).

Marvel Stadium, formerly known as Etihad Stadium, is a prominent multi-purpose stadium located in Docklands, Melbourne, Australia. It was officially opened in March 2000 and has since become a significant venue for Australian rules football and other sports and entertainment events.

Features and Capacity:

  • Capacity: Marvel Stadium has a seating capacity of around 53,000 spectators for AFL matches.
  • Design: The stadium features a retractable roof, which can be closed in case of inclement weather, ensuring events can proceed unaffected by rain.
  • Multi-purpose: Besides AFL matches, Marvel Stadium hosts a variety of events including concerts, rugby matches, soccer games, and other entertainment events.
  • Seating: The seating arrangement includes general admission areas, corporate boxes, and various levels of seating to accommodate different types of spectators.
  • Location: It is situated in the Docklands precinct of Melbourne, which is easily accessible by public transport including trains, trams, and buses.

History and Ownership:

  • Construction: Marvel Stadium was built as part of the redevelopment of the Docklands area, aiming to revitalize the waterfront and provide a modern sporting and entertainment venue.
  • Ownership: The stadium is privately owned by the Seven Network, Telstra Corporation, and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). It was initially developed and managed by Docklands Stadium Limited.
  • Name Changes: The stadium was originally named Colonial Stadium upon opening. It then became Telstra Dome in 2002 before being rebranded as Etihad Stadium in 2009. In 2018, the naming rights were acquired by Marvel Entertainment, leading to its current name, Marvel Stadium.

Events and Usage:

  • AFL Matches: As the home ground for several AFL clubs, including Essendon, Marvel Stadium hosts numerous AFL matches throughout the season.
  • Concerts: It has also been a popular venue for international concerts and entertainment events, attracting major artists and performers.
  • Other Sports: Beyond AFL, the stadium has hosted rugby matches, soccer games, and even cricket matches.
  • Corporate and Hospitality: The stadium offers various corporate hospitality options, including premium seating areas and suites for corporate events and private functions.

Marvel Stadium is not only a key sporting venue but also a cultural and entertainment hub in Melbourne, contributing significantly to the city’s vibrant events scene and tourism appeal.

Essendon Football Club Team Celebrating Their Win
Essendon Football Club Team Celebrating Their Win

Premiership Success:

the Essendon Football Club has won a total of 16 VFL/AFL premierships:

  • 1897 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1901 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1911 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1912 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1923 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1924 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1942 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1946 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1949 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1950 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1962 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1965 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1984 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1985 – Essendon (VFL)
  • 1993 – Essendon (AFL)
  • 2000 – Essendon (AFL)

These premierships span the history of the club from the early years of the Victorian Football League (VFL) to the present-day Australian Football League (AFL). Please note that the information might need to be updated if there have been additional wins since then.

Finals Appearances:

Essendon Football Club has played in a total of 58 VFL/AFL finals matches throughout its history. These final appearances include the Victorian Football League (VFL) and Australian Football League (AFL) finals. This makes Essendon one of the historically successful clubs in Australian rules football, known for their competitive presence in finals series over the decades.

In recent years, Essendon has faced challenges both on and off the field, including player controversies and rebuilding phases.

The club continues to strive for success in the AFL, aiming to build on its rich history and return to premiership contention.

Throughout its long history, Essendon Football Club has cemented its place as a powerhouse in Australian rules football, known for its tradition of success, iconic players, and passionate fan base.

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