Many believed Albert Thurgood was the greatest footballer of all time.

And in 1958, football historian Cec Mullen wrote that the six-foot and 12-stone champion was exactly that.

Boasting the most spectacular high mark of his time and an artist in ball control and balance, Thurgood was a brilliant runner, extremely quick around the ground and could dispose of the ball with both feet.

He was a magnificent kick, be that a drop, place or punt.

Thurgood came to Essendon in 1892 and quickly established his class, his all-round play undoubtedly the most prominent factor in Essendon's Association premiership successes from 1892 to 1894.

He headed the Association goalkickers in 1892 with 56 goals, 1893 with 63 and 1894 with 62.

He was the first player to ever kick over 50 goals in a season, and in one game in 1893 he kicked a record 12 of the side's 14 goals, before backing it up the next week with nineof 10.

Though he returned in 1898, residential rules stopped Thurgood re-joining the Dons until 1899, so he sat out a year.

While it took him a while to regain his former greatness, Thurgood headed the League goalkicking list in 1900 with 25 goals, even though he only played irregularly, and again in 1902 with 33. He was runner-up in 1901.

Thurgood was an incredibly long kick and one place kick was measured in 1899 to be 107 yards, two feet and one inch. He was also reported to have drop-kicked 90 yards during training.

In 1901, Thurgood was credited with bringing the premiership to Essendon. In the semi-final he kicked five of the side's six goals from centre-half forward to win the game - his performance described as one of the finest ever in a League final.

Then, in the Grand Final, Thurgood kicked half of the Bombers' six goals to be one of the stars of the game.

Thurgood only played eight seasons with Essendon, heading the club's goalkicking in every full season he played.

Career statistics

Played: 1892-1894, 1899-1902, 1906
Games: 103 (57 VFA, 46 VFL)
Goals: 89 (1897-1906)
Premiership player: 1901
Essendon best and fairest: 1901
VFL leading goalkicker: 1900
Essendon leading goalkicker: 1900,1902
Champion of the Colony: 1901