This moment is the 11th of a virtual series presenting the Bombers' best 30 moments over 150 years, which fans can vote on for their chance to win prizes. Click here to view and vote, and see the schedule and prizes below.

In 1962, under second-year coach John Coleman, who had replaced Dick Reynolds after the 1960 season, Essendon ended a 12-year premiership drought by defeating Carlton in the Grand Final.

It was a season as impressive as any in the club’s history. After 22 years under the legendary Reynolds for four premierships from 12 Grand Finals, the Essendon committee felt a fresh approach was required in order to rejuvenate the team. In Coleman, they were certain they had their man.

The Bombers won 16 of 22 home and away matches in 1962, including the first seven to start the year and an eight-game winning streak mid-season, to finish two games clear on top of the ladder. Charlie Payne led the way up forward with 32 goals (plus another seven in finals), Ken Fraser finished second in the Brownlow Medal count, while captain Jack Clarke was one of the VFL’s most consistent and hard-working centremen.

In the semi-final against Geelong, the Bombers dominated for much of the day, with only Essendon’s inaccuracy - 14.21 (105) to 7.17 (59) - saving the Cats from an even greater defeat. Coleman’s team then had to bide its time for an extra week, after Geelong and Carlton drew their preliminary final and replayed the game the following Saturday. In another tight affair, the Blues eventually prevailed by five points.

According to wingman Barry Capuano, the coach devised an inventive way of keeping his players hungry during the three-week lag between the semi and Grand Final.

“That’s where Coleman was pretty smart. He spoke with Melbourne, as he knew coach Norm Smith pretty well, and he arranged for them to play a practice game against us," Capuano said.

The teams played two 30-minute halves on the Thursday night of preliminary final week, with all Bombers players getting through unscathed.

“That was a pretty solid workout for us, which was just what we needed," Capuano said.

Veteran ruckman Geoff Leek injured his ankle during Grand Final week and had to undertake a fitness test prior to the game, fooling selectors by kicking a medicine ball with his ‘good’ leg. In what was his 191st, and last, game in red and black, Leek was one of the best on ground.

The Bombers jumped from the blocks with a six-goal-to-one opening term that shocked the Blues and set the foundation for premiership glory. While Carlton fought back in the middle phase of the game, they could never bridge the gap as Essendon kicked away to win by 32 points: 13.12 (90) to 8.10 (58).

John Coleman, champion player, was now a premiership coach.


Round 1 (launching May 6) - 1872-1939

Round 2 (launching May 10) - 1940-1959

Round 3 (launching May 15) - 1960-1979

Round 4 (launching May 20) - 1980-1989

Round 5 (launching May 25) - 1990-1999

Round 6 (launching May 30) - 2000-2021

Round 7 (launching June 4) - Finals round


Round 1 – One 2022 merchandise pack, including an Essendon New Era Black on Black 9FORTY Snapback cap ($40) and an Essendon Heritage Bar Scarf ($30)

Round 2 – One Essendon Fibre of Football Scarf ($80)

Round 3 - One Essendon Football Club 150-year anniversary commemorative mosaic ($295)

Round 4 – One Essendon Football Club 150-year anniversary commemorative mosaic ($295)

Round 5 – One 2022 team-signed guernsey ($500)

Round 6 – One copy of the Red & Black Collection special 150th anniversary book ($329)

Round 7 – One copy of the Red & Black Collection special 150th anniversary book ($329) and one 2022 team-signed guernsey ($500)