Essendon Football Club has unveiled its new look Heritage Guernsey with Tim Watson the latest Bomber Champion to be honoured.
The decision was made by the fans, with Watson securing the most votes ahead of Club Greats, Bill Hutchison and Ken Fraser in an online poll.
Designed in conjunction with the Club’s official apparel partner adidas, the third edition of the Heritage Guernsey features a new colour scheme, with the body of the alternate strip changing from grey to red.
The iconic red sash remains front and centre, with black borders running along either side. As has been the case since its inception the Heritage Guernsey will bear the names of every Essendon premiership player on the body of the Guernsey.
Speaking at the Heritage Guernsey photo shoot Captain, Brendon Goddard, gave the new design the tick of approval.
“It’s a good colour, and we keep the traditional sash which is an important part of the Club’s history,” Goddard said.
“The Heritage Guernsey not only celebrates AFL Hall of Fame and Club Champion Tim Watson, but pays tribute to the players from all 16 Premiership sides.
“It’s great to see the fans voted for Tim and had input into the Heritage Guernsey because they’re the people who go out and buy the Guernsey and support the footy Club.”
Tim Watson was chosen by fans to be honoured on the new Heritage Guernsey.
Watson is one of the most iconic figures to ‘Don the Sash,’ and his incredible career will now be woven into the fabric of the Heritage Guernsey for the next two seasons.
A member of Essendon’s Team of the Century and AFL Hall of Fame, Watson’s name and signature sits proudly on the left hand side of the Guernsey, right across the heart.
The inside neck of the Guernsey features an iconic image of Watson playing at Windy Hill along with a list of his career achievements.
The triple premiership player and four time best and fairest winner, showed tremendous leadership, breathtaking talent and courage during his 307 game career.
Mark Harvey spent close to a decade playing alongside Watson, and will always remember him as a big game player, who’s ferocious appetite to win the football inspired his teammates and endeared him to generations of Essendon supporters.
“The thing I admired about Tim the most was that he was an inspirational leader on the ground,” Harvey said.
“Sheeds lured Tim out of retirement in 1993 for his experience, and with a really young side we went on to win the Premiership. Tim provided the team with great leadership, he had the ability to keep the young players in the game, and he just had that calming influence.
“I finished up playing in three premierships with Tim, and make no mistake he was the key reason why.”
Kevin Sheedy believes Watson was a player well ahead of his time.
“He could brush the opposition away and had the ability to run into space. And you’ve got to have courage to run with the ball, a lot of people don’t realise that,” Sheedy said.
“A lot of people would just come to watch him play, I mean the guy was 6’3 with an enormous frame, and I guess the modern comparison to Tim would be a player like Nat Fyfe.
“Tim was just a fantastic player and role model for the Essendon Football Club.”
A number of historical elements have also been incorporated into the Heritage Guernsey, including the Club’s Heritage Logo on the rear neck, the year of foundation embroidered on the inside hem and the Club’s Latin motto which translates “Gentle in manner, resolute in deed.”
The Club will wear the Heritage Guernsey on four occasions in 2016. Round 3 v Port Adelaide, Round 9 v St Kilda, Round 11 v Fremantle and Round 17 against Richmond.
Heritage Guernsey Honourary Players
John Coleman 2012-2013
Dick Reynolds 2014 -2015
Tim Watson 2016 - 2017
Tim Watson Career Statistics
Career: 1977-1991 and 1993-1994
Premiership player: 1984, 1985, 1993
EFC Captain: 1989-1991
EFC Vice-Captain: 1982-1988
EFC Best & Fairest: 1980,1985,1988,1989
Victorian Representative: 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
All-Australian: 1983, 1989
AFL Hall of Fame
Essendon Team of the Century