Essendon Football Club has honoured Life Member and Number one ticket holder Bruce Heymanson at a moving memorial service on Friday afternoon at Etihad Stadium.
Board members, players, past and present, coaches, coterie groups and staff joined hundreds of family and friends to farewell, remember and celebrate the life of ‘Heymo.’
Heymanson, 72, lost his brave battle with cancer late last week and has left a lasting legacy on the Essendon Football Club.
James Hird said the players, both past and present, felt a great sense of loss following his passing.
“He was a man who loved so many and gave so much, a lot more than he ever received,” Hird said.
“Heymo was one of us. He was a supporter, he was a committee member, he was a coterie leader but in the end, he was one of the players mates.”
“Bruce was a man that has helped so many of us. He helped us be better footballers, he helped us be better husbands, helped us be better fathers and most importantly helped us be better people.”
“He wasn’t our father but he was definitely our father figure.”
“Our club will not be the same without Heymo.”
Essendon chairman David Evans paid tribute to Heymanson for his important contribution to the Club over more than forty years.
“He was, as James Hird described, the godfather of our club,” Evans said.
“Heymo was always thinking about how to make the club a better place. His influence and support has stretched across so many generations and he touched so many.”
“He was in many ways our magnetic north, and we will all strive to do justice to his legacy.”
“It was a privilege to have known him, he was our number one ticket holder and he will always be with us in spirit – rest in peace Heymo, job well done.”
Bruce was a committee member from 1988 to 1998 and was an integral member and leader of a number of coterie groups including the Essendonians, Red n’ Blacks and the Dick Reynolds Club.
More recently, Bruce has played a tireless and critical role in fundraising for the Club’s new High Performance Centre at Melbourne Airport.
Essendon legend Tim Watson said ‘Heymo’ touched many people in his time at Windy Hill and he would be deeply missed.
“He had a deep affection for anyone who has ever worn the red and black,” Watson said.
“He was a major fundraiser, a mentor, a friend and a visionary at the football club.”
“Bruce has had an impact on the lives of past and present day players, on staff, coaches and administrators.”
“He was a giver and he has left a legacy on the Essendon Football Club that will last for many generations to come.”
Essendon premiership coach and close friend Kevin Sheedy described Heymanson as one of kind.
“I’ve been around football for a long time and I don’t know of another person like Bruce,” Sheedy said.
“What a soul he had. He always felt that he could help other people in life and contribute towards their wellbeing. I haven’t met many people like that at all.”
“How do we find these people in this country, because we always need a Bruce Heymanson.
“His heart and soul to me was glowing to the point that you wonder where it comes from. Always giving. Never heard that he would want a thing.”
“It’s about the soul of a person and what a wonderful and beautiful person Bruce Heymanson was.”
The Club wishes to extend its deepest sympathy to the entire Heymanson family.