Essendon is thrilled to announce the induction of Darcy Parish and Paul Brasher as life members at the 2023 Annual General Meeting held at the NEC Hangar this evening.

Parish receives this acknowledgement following his 150th game milestone in round 24.

Drafted with pick No.5 in the 2015 National Draft, Parish has been a mainstay in the Bombers’ lineup since his debut in round one of the 2016 season.

2021 was arguably Parish’s career-best year, where he was awarded the trio of best-on-ground awards - Anzac Medal, Yiooken Award and Tom Wills Medal – and capped the year off with an All-Australian selection and Crichton Medal runner-up.

Parish demonstrated his commitment to the Bombers by signing a new contract to keep him in the red and black until at least the end of 2028.

Brasher’s induction reflects his dedication and commitment to the Essendon Football Club during his decade on the board and as Essendon President.

Before being elected President in 2020, Brasher held the roles of Vice-President, Finance Director and Chair of Audit, Risk and Integrity Committee. Brasher held the role of President for two years, including during Essendon’s 150th Anniversary celebrations and the club’s successful bid for an AFLW license.

Essendon President Dave Barham congratulated the pair for their inductions as Life Members.

“On behalf of the Essendon Football Club, I congratulate Darcy Parish and Paul Brasher on receiving Life Membership to this great club,” Barham said.

“Paul Brasher has given an enormous amount of time and effort to this football club, for over a decade. Paul, along with his wife Robyn, helped an extraordinary amount of people achieve their best at this club.

“Paul is one of the most loyal and kind-hearted people that I have met in my life. He has always had the full respect of everyone connected with this club, earnt by honest and generous actions delivered over more than a decade.”

“Darcy made his debut for the club in 2016, probably the most difficult year in the club’s 150-year history. He has now played 150 games, kicked 49 goals and in 2021 had a stellar year winning the Yiooken award for best on ground in the Dreamtime game, the Anzac Day medal, was second in the Chrichton Medal and was selected in the All-Australian Team.

“He has become one of our genuine leaders. He demonstrated this very clearly at the end of this year, when he re-signed to the club meaning he will finish his career at Essendon and be a one club player – a Bomber for life. This was an enormous show of faith, in what we are doing at this club. It was a statement, from a leader that we are heading in the right direction. 

“To Grace, Darcy’s wife, and his family, you are important parts of this club. This club is proud of its connection with families and tonight with the awarding of this life membership to Darcy, it cements the Parish family as a part of our long and storied history.”

Paul and Darcy tonight reflected on their induction.

“It is an enormous thrill, and I am hugely appreciative to be awarded life membership of the club I have loved since I was five years old,” Brasher said.

“As a one-eyed supporter, and in more recent years as a board member, it has been a long journey, not always a smooth one, but the great victories and the fantastic people I have known through the club will always be the abiding memories. 

I have no doubt that our teams will add more to that store of memories in the not-too-distant future. 

“Thanks again to the club for this honour and I look forward to cheering with 100,000 other fanatical members as Brad and Natalie and their teams make all of our football dreams a reality."

Darcy received tonight’s award in front of family and friends.

“I am incredibly honoured and grateful to become a Life Member of this great club. Essendon has felt like home the minute I walked through the door so it’s comforting to know I’ll always be welcome back here,” Parish said.