Essendon has grown as the game of Australian football has grown, from a local football club based in the north western suburbs of Melbourne to one of the largest sporting organisations in the country.
The Bombers have followers spread far and wide, not only around Australia, but throughout the world. And the Dons have similarly attracted players from all over the place.
Western Australia has proved a particularly fertile recruiting ground, and as Essendon prepares to take on West Coast in Perth on Thursday evening, what better time to pay homage to the talent hailing from the biggest state in the country.
Our team of WA Bombers has players from a whole range of eras throughout the club’s history, and contains plenty of superstars, Brownlow medallists, Norm Smith medallists, Coleman medallists and members of premiership teams.
Darren Bewick was one of the most famous Bombers to come from WA. (Photo: AFL Media)
There are two members of Essendon’s official 25 best players in the club’s history as named in the 'Champions of Essendon', dual premiership centre half-back Wally Buttsworth and Brownlow Medal-winning ruckman Graham Moss.
Rugged defender Bill Duckworth won the 1984 Norm Smith Medal in a famous Grand Final victory over Hawthorn, and teammate Leon Baker (who hailed from Avenel near Seymour but played his first senior game with Swan Districts in WA) wasn’t far behind in that game.
Scott Cummings would win a Coleman Medal in 1999 with West Coast after leaving Essendon. But Cummings had his share of big games with the Bombers, too, none the least his eight-goal debut in 1994.
And Buttsworth, Duckworth, Baker, Alec Epis, Darren Bewick and Paul Barnard all played in Essendon flag wins.
There’s even a couple of current-day Essendon players good enough to earn a guernsey in All-Australian key defender Cale Hooker and midfield veteran David Myers. It’s a seriously good Bombers line-up. All from Australia’s western-most state.
OUR TEAM OF WA BOMBERS
You can read more of Rohan Connolly’s work at his FOOTYOLOGY website.