The Daniher brothers create history, running out for the first time together against St Kilda in 1990.

This moment is the 21st 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.

A casual comment by Edna Daniher, matriarch of the famous Daniher clan, to Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy in the late-1980s, planted the seed for what would become a history-making day in VFL/AFL football. Edna told ‘Sheeds’ how she would love to see her four sons - Terry, Neale, Anthony and Chris - one day play together in the same Bombers team, and Sheedy, a football romantic at heart, tucked the comment to the back of his mind, knowing he would do his best to make that dream a reality.

The four boys all represented New South Wales in a State of Origin match early in the 1990 season - a momentous occasion in itself, particularly considering the Light Blues stunned Victoria at the SCG, winning by 12 points - but, to be able to run out together for Essendon in a game for premiership points was another thing altogether. 

The decision to bring injury-plagued Neale, as well as young Chris, into the side for the final game of the home and away season, against St Kilda at Moorabbin, was not without its critics. Essendon needed to win to claim top spot, and was expected to do so against the lowly Saints, but taking a punt on Neale, in particular, was a huge gamble. However, as history shows, Sheedy loved to hedge his bets.

Anthony recalled: “Neale had been struggling with injury and it was the last game leading into the finals, so we knew if we [all] played well then, we could [potentially] play together in a final. I started to realise how the Krakouer brothers [Jim and Phil] felt when they used to kick it to each other - you just knew where your brother would be. The bond in the rooms was just amazing.” Neale described it as “a good gesture” because “I was about gone as a player.”

Chris admitted he was “very nervous because Sheeds had promoted me from the seconds. He really looked after me and played me in the centre for most of the game. I had played a fair bit, mainly pre-season and night games, with Terry and Anthony, but not with Neale, so that was a bit strange.” Chris had “a knot in the gut when we were going through the banner, just the four of us together.”

(L-R) Daniher brothers Neale, Anthony, Chris and Terry with parents Edna and Jim. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Big brother Terry was particularly proud of the occasion. “It was great to be able to run out with my three brothers for Essendon. The whole family came down from Ungarie (318 kilometres north-west of Canberra) for it, and it was really great to see Neale overcome a lot of hurdles to make it back for a few games.” Father Jim Daniher later said, “as parents, we were terribly proud.”

The banner the four boys ran through simply stated: “History in the Making”.

After trailing at half-time, Essendon kicked away in the second half to win by 35 points - 19.14 (128) to 13.15 (93). Anthony had 27 disposals, Chris 24, Neale kicked 3.4, and Terry had 15 disposals and one goal.

For Neale, the historic game was his 82nd and last as a player. The son who Jim Daniher conceded “might have been the best” player of the four brothers, would not get the opportunity to play finals.

“I went to selector Brian Donohoe after the game and said, ‘If I kicked 5.2 would I have been a chance to play in the finals?’ He said ‘You were never a chance!’ and I knew it. They went on to play in the Grand Final, but I was never good enough to be in that team. Does it hurt to have missed out on a premiership from my career? Yeah, it does. I missed out on four Grand Finals (1983-85 plus 1990). In 1985, I would have been 24 years old, I’d have been at my peak age, so it would have been nice to have tested myself on the big stage. But s*** happens.”


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)