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Club mourns passing of Ted Leehane

Essendon Football Club is mourning the passing of three-time premiership player Ted Leehane at the age of 91.

Leehane played 83 games for the club between 1942-1950 and was a member in the 1942, 1949 and 1950 premiership teams.

A fast moving, high marking centre half-forward and full forward he combined well with goal kicking champion John Coleman in the 1949 and 1950 premiership sides.

Premiership teammate Jack Jones said it was a sad day for the Essendon Football Club.

“You would never have found a better bloke anywhere. You’ll find them as good, but you won’t find them any better than Ted,” Jones said.

“Ted was a great footballer, a great centre half forward with a lovely mark and was a good kick. He was truly one of the strengths of the Essendon Football Club at the time we were playing together.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to Ted’s wife Mavis and the wider Leehane family.”

His career was interrupted by his World War II army service from 1943 to 1946.

With a knack for being in the right place at the right time on the field, Leehane played in his first premiership in just his 12th game in the red and black at full forward in the 1942 premiership victory.

He was among Essendon’s best at centre half forward in the 1949 premiership team before rupturing his kidney in 1950, making it back just in time to play in the premiership team that year.

Runner up in the 1948 Best and Fairest award, he also won the most unselfish player award in 1950 and was the club’s leading goal kicker in 1947 with 50 goals.

The Leehanes were a strong football family. Ted Leehane's brother, Tom, played seven games for Essendon (1950-1951), and their father, Steve, played 82 games for Carlton (1914-1919).

Ted was the last surviving member of the club’s 1942 premiership team. He was named at number 49 in the Champions of Essendon list released in 2002.