The mere mention of the Essendon Football Club evokes memories of famous victories and champions of days past and present.

It is a name that encompasses pride and passion, for both those in the outer and those who pull on the famous red and black guernsey, because together they have created a great football club.

This club values its history dearly, and enjoys reflecting on the deeds of those that engineered the great wins, took the giant marks and kicked the impossible goals. It lauds the players who gave everything they had for the cause.

And after more than 100 years, the time came to sit in judgement, to pour over the pages of this club's remarkable history and come up with the Champions of Essendon.

Just who are the 25 best players to represent the Bombers?

How does Champions of Essendon work?

A specially convened panel came up with the top 60 players to ever represent Essendon. Each week for the first 15 weeks of season 2002, four names were made public and fans were asked to vote on them.

The results of those polls in conjunction with the decisions of the panel saw one player admitted into the top 25. Those players who finished second and third in the voting went back into the nominee pool while the player who finished fourth was omitted.

So after 15 weeks, there were 15 players identified as Champions of Essendon. Then 30 names were left and 10 positions up for grabs. Over the final eight weeks, six groups of four players and two groups of three were put up for voting. Once again the voting results in conjunction with the thoughts of the panel saw one player admitted to the Champions of Essendon and the other players omitted.

At the completion of 23 weeks, we had 23 players recognised as Champions of Essendon – the best of the best.

The panel then used two wildcards to round out the top 25 players to ever play for the Bombers.

The final 25

With the final 25 players decided, the panel then re-convened and were asked to work through the difficult task of ranking the top 25 players. They were asked to find Essendon's best player of all time.

And in what was one of Essendon Football Club's most memorable nights, the Champions of Essendon – in order – were revealed at a gala event held at the Crown Palladium Ballroom on August 30, 2002.

Below is the final 25.