Main content


Essendon FC thought to have formed this year at the home of Robert McCracken.


Essendon plays first recorded game v Carlton 2nd 20.


Essendon becomes first club to play on a full-sized ground at Flemington.


Essendon joins the newly formed Victorian Football Association.


Essendon plays Melbourne using a white ball, in one of the game’s earliest night games.


Essendon becomes first Melbourne club to visit Geelong travelling on a ‘football special’ train


Essendon wins first of four consecutive VFA premierships.


Club moves to East Melbourne Cricket Ground to play its home games. Remains there until 1921


Albert Thurgood makes debut. Kicks 56 goals in first season a new goal kicking record to that time.


Club goes through entire season undefeated.


Victorian Football League forms.


Essendon become one the eight clubs to join the new Victorian Football League in its first season. Essendon wins the first VFL premiership.


Club scores first 100 points tally v St Kilda.


Essendon becomes first club to wear white shorts in a finals game


Essendon wins second premiership beating Collingwood by 27 points


Essendon kicks 1174 points in the season. The first team to reach 1000pts in a single season.


Ted Kinnear becomes first Essendon player to reach 100 games, in rd 1v Fitzroy.


Club finishes bottom for the first time.


Essendon wins 3rd premiership. Essendon in rd 4 kicks 20 goals for the first in the VFL (21.12.138) to beat Collingwood by 14 goals. Becomes first team to wear numbers in VFL match when it does so in finals game. Jack Worrall appointed coach of club after successful three years at Carlton.


Essendon wins its 4th premiership.


Club stands out of competition for two seasons during World War I in protest of the VFL refusing to put all gate receipts to the war effort.


The club returns to VFL competition but wins only three games and finishes bottom.


Essendon finishes bottom for second time in four seasons. After 40 seasons, the club leaves its home ground, East Melbourne Cricket Ground, at end of season and moves to Essendon Recreation Reserve, now known as Windy Hill.


Essendon beat Carlton in its first game at Essendon Recreation Reserve. First new grandstand opens in August that year


Essendon wins premiership. Greg Stockdale tops League goalkicking with 64 goals.


Essendon wins second successive premiership. Three-time best & fairest Tom Fitzmaurice quits the club accusing teammates of taking money to throw a finals game.


R James shares first Charles Gardiner medal as seconds best & fairest Player


18 year-old Dick Reynolds debuts in rd 1. Goes on to play 320 games, win seven club best & fairest medals and three Brownlow medals. Is later voted the best player in Essendon history. Club finishes bottom for fourth and last time in its history.


Club kicks 29.16.190 v North Melbourne, its highest score to that time.


Ted Freyer sets first round goalkicking record with 12 goals v Melbourne. Keith Forbes is runner-up in Brownlow medal.


Dick Reynolds appointed joint-coach with Harry Hunter part way through the season after resignation of coach Jack Baggott.


Club plays finals for first time since 1926, finishes third.


Essendon reaches Grand Final, but loses to Melbourne by 29 points.


Club wins 7th flag after beating Richmond by 53 points.


Captain Dick Reynolds wins club record 7th best & fairest award


Dick Reynolds becomes first Essendon player to play 200 games when he leads club to 1 point win over Collingwood in rd 5 at Windy Hill.


Club wins 8th flag after beating Melbourne by 63 points.


Alan Dale wins the first Morrish Trophy as best player in VFL Thirds competition.


Team kicks 7.27.69 in Grand Final to draw with Melbourne, but lose replay.


John Coleman makes debut kicking 12 goals and becomes overnight sensation. Bomber aeroplane motif appears on the club’s membership tickets for the first time. Club wins premiership beating Carlton by 73 points, Coleman kicks 6.


Club wins second successive flag, losing only 1 game all year. Reserves and Thirds also win the flag. In rd 1, Dick Reynolds becomes first Essendon player to reach 300 games.


Club wins inaugural McClelland Cup for finishing season with the highest number of points by its three sides (Seniors, Reserves, Thirds). Champion full- forward John Coleman suspended in last game against Carlton and misses finals. Club makes 6th successive Grand Final but loses to Geelong by 11 pts. Dick Reynolds plays in second half of Grand Final, his only game for the year, his last game and 320th overall.


Bill Hutchison is equal highest Brownlow vote getter but loses out on count back system favouring player with most 3 votes. Jack Jones plays his 133rd consecutive game to set club record which still stands.


John Coleman kicks 10 against Richmond in rd 18, becoming only the second player in league history to kick 10 goals in a game on 10 occasions.


John Coleman kicks 14 goals v Fitzroy in rd 7. The second time that season he kicks 10 or more goals in a game. He injures his knee at Windy Hill the following week and his career ends after only 98 games.


Essendon becomes first club to employ a specialist fitness adviser from Melbourne University.


John Coleman is appointed senior coach.


Club loses only two games for the year, finishes top and wins Grand Final beating Carlton.


Team kicks 28.16.184 to defeat South Melbourne by 165 points, the club’s greatest winning margin ever.


Club finishes fourth but storms through finals and comfortably defeats St Kilda for 12th flag.


Allan Hird appointed president after many years service as player, coach, and committeeman.


Club finishes 11th, lowest position since finishing bottom (12th) in 1933.


Club celebrates is centenary. Former Collingwood champion player Des Tuddenham is appointed captain coach. Team plays first ever finals match at VFL Park. Geoff Blethyn kicks 107 goals, the first 100 goal Essendon player since Coleman 20 years earlier. Club secretary Bill Cookson retires after 29 years in the role.


Social Club built along with new Allan T Hird Stand. Former great John Coleman dies suddenly at just 44 years of age. Champion WA recruit Graham Moss is runner-up in Brownlow medal in first season. Club records highest ever points tally of the season: 2443.


Graham Moss wins the Brownlow medal and his third successive best & fairest award. Colin Stubbs appointed club president.


Former club champion Barry Davis takes over as senior coach. Captain Ken Fletcher wins his first the best & fairest medal in his 12th season.


Club appoints former Richmond player Kevin Sheedy as senior coach. Reserves player W Valli win best & fairest in Reserves competition (Gardiner Medal) and under 19s player P. Lane wins best & fairest in thirds competition (Morrish Medal). Tim Watson wins the first of his four best & fairest medals.


Former players Greg Sewell and Barry Capuano replace club president and general manager Colin Stubbs and Roy McConnell who step down. Club wins its first night premiership (Escort Cup) defeating Carlton.


Club loses Elimination Final, its sixth straight finals loss. Neale Daniher named captain but doesn’t play a game owing to injury. Former champion Bill Hutchison dies aged only 59.


Bombers reach the Grand Final, first since 1968, but are beaten by a then record 83 points by Hawthorn. Seconds win Army Reserve Cup over Collingwood.


Club turns tables on Hawthorn beating them in the Grand Final to record 13th flag and first in 19 years. Club also wins its second Night Premiership, the first club to win both in same season. Paul Salmon hailed as new Coleman after kicking 63 goals in 13 games before injuring his knee. Simon Madden wins his fourth best & fairest medal.


Back-to-back flags as club again beats Hawthorn, this time by 78 points. Club wins special one-off Premier’s Cup to mark Melbourne’s 150th anniversary. Frank Zoccali wins Morrish Medal for best player in U19s competition.


Bombers play in 6th successive finals campaign but lose in Elimination final to Fitzroy by a single point. Members asked to vote on committee being reduced from 15 to 8. General manager given full voting rights in the new board of nine. Testimonials for Simon Madden and Gary Foulds.


A sub-committee investigates the club’s long term viability of playing home games at Windy Hill. Tim Watson returns to football in rd 5 after a year on sidelines with knee injury. Brisbane Bears and West Coast Eagles join the league.


Simon Madden plays 300th game in last game of season, only the second Essendon player to reach the milestone. Is also runner-up in the Brownlow medal. Glenn Hawker reaches 200 in same game. Club clocks up 1000th league wins.


Club wins McClelland Trophy when its three sides (Seniors, Reserves and U19s) lead league aggregate points tally.


Club wins Pre-season Cup over North Melbourne and finishes the season on top of ladder, but gets beaten by Collingwood in the first AFL Grand Final. Fans’ favourite Paul Vander Haar plays 200th game in preliminary final win over West Coast.


After 70 seasons the club plays its 628th and last home game (v Brisbane) at Windy Hill, but fans unaware it is the final home game until season has ended. Tim Watson retires after 282 games, two premierships and four best & fairest awards (but later returns to play in 1993 and 1994).Coach Kevin Sheedy declines offer to coach Sydney.


Future champion James Hird makes debut in rd 1 v St Kilda to begin one of the great Essendon careers. Simon Madden retires after club record 378 games and then record 575 goals.


Tim Watson is talked out of retirement and returns to Windy Hill. Club wins 15th premiership, over favourites Carlton with a young side, six of whom have played 25 games or fewer. Club also wins night series Foster’s Cup, Essendon FC and Social Club merge to form Essendon Football and Community Sporting Club, Club wins McClelland Trophy for 6th time. Gavin Wanganeen wins Brownlow medal.


Tim Watson becomes only the fourth Essendon player to play 300 games and retires at season’s end. Scott Cummings leads club goalkicking with 32 goals, the lowest since 1971. Club membership jumps to 19,720, a 70% increase on the previous year. League expands finals competition from top 6 to top 8 teams but Essendon finish 10th and miss out on defending premiership.


Matthew Lloyd makes debut in round 14 and goals with first kick in football. Michael Long comes second in Brownlow Medal. Membership breaks 20,000 for first time ever. First Anzac Day game between Essendon and Collingwood is played at MCG and ends in a draw.


James Hird wins Brownlow Medal and third consecutive club best and fairest. Club misses out on Grand Final spot after 1 point loss to Swans in Preliminary Final. Club opens its Hall of Fame, the first of any League club.


Mark Harvey plays his 206th and last game in rd 22. Kevin Sheedy coaches his 400th game in the same round. Club drops to 14th on the ladder, its lowest ever finish to that time (in a 16 team league).


Michael Long returns to football after 370 days recovering from a knee reconstruction. Kevin Sheedy breaks Dick Reynolds’ 416 game coaching record in round 16.


Essendon lose second preliminary final by 1 point to miss place in Grand Final against Kangaroos who they had twice beaten during the year.


Club moves to Colonial Stadium (now Etihad Stadium) at Docklands for home games. Team records best season of any club in league history, winning pre-season cup and 16th Premiership and loses only once in 25 games. Matthew Lloyd kicks 109 goals, the first Essendon player to reach 100 goals since 1972, and highest tally in 50 years. Membership breaks 30,000 for first time.


Club reaches Grand Final but loses to Brisbane Lions. Michael Long retires. Matthew. Lloyd kicks 105 goals to reach 100 goal milestone for second successive year.


Paul Salmon returns to Essendon after six seasons at Hawthorn to add to his 209 games for the Bombers between 1983 and 1995. Season disrupted by a number of injuries to senior players. Essendon’s best player of all time, Dick Reynolds, dies aged 87.


Club wins only five games to half way point of season but finishes strongly winning eight of last 10 games to scrape into finals but goes out in first semi-final to Port Adelaide.


Club again scrapes into 8th spot and goes out in first semi-final to Geelong.


Kevin Sheedy clocks up 25th season as coach. Former champion and assistant coach Mark Harvey accepts assistant coaching position at Fremantle FC. Club slumps to 13th with only eight wins for season


Evergreen fullback Dustin Fletcher plays 250th game in rd 11. Dean Rioli plays his 100th game in last game then retires owing to chronic knee problems. David Hille is appointed captain standing in for injured Matthew Lloyd. Barry Davis Is inducted into Hall of Fame. Club finishes lowest position ever at 15th but stays off bottom owing to Carlton.


Club does not re-new coach Kevin Sheedy’s contract, he leaves Windy Hill after 27 years and four premierships. Is replaced by another former Richmond champion Matthew Knights. Five-time club champion James Hird retires after 253 games. Club finishes 12th.


Former coach Kevin Sheedy is inducted into Essendon Hall of Fame.


Club reaches finals for first time since 2004 but loses to Adelaide by 96 points. Essendon greats and 2000 premiership players Scott Lucas and Matthew Lloyd retire after round 22 after both playing 270 games. Lloyd's 946 career goals a record at Essendon.


Angus Monfries is leading goal-kicker with 24 goals, the lowest since 1921. Dustin Fletcher moves to second on Essendon's all-time games played list when he plays his 321st game v Richmond in round 9. Essendon coach Matthew Knights is sacked the day after round 22 loss to Bulldogs and on 28 September the club names former club champion James Hird as his replacement.


Club wins 11 games, its best result since 2004, but is knocked out in first week of finals by Carlton. Debutant Dyson Heppell wins the AFL Rising Star Award, the first Essendon player to do so. David Zaharakis wins the club best and fairest award in his third season. Club launches The Flight Plan, a fundraising initiative to assist in the realisation of a new training and administration base at Melbourne Airport.


Club wins eight of first nine games but then loses eight of last nine to finish 11th. Captain Jobe Watson becomes sixth Essendon player to win Brownlow Medal. Evergreen defender Dustin Fletcher finishes the year on 365 games, putting him eighth on all time games played list.


In February, Essendon reports to the AFL fears that banned supplements may have been administered to players in 2012 beginning the biggest controversy and investigation in Australian football history. Club CEO Ian Robson resigns, Chairman David Evans stands down, the Club receives the biggest fine in Australian sporting history ($2 mill.), loss of draft picks for two years, ban from competing in 2013 finals and 12-month suspension of coach James Hird. Despite this the Club finishes 6th, its highest position since 2004 but is relegated to 9th. Former St Kilda recruit Brendon Goddard wins the club’s best and fairest award. Members and supporters rally and club sets a record membership of 56,406.


The AFL/ASADA investigation begins a second year distracting the Club and intensifying pressure on players. Assistant coach Mark Thompson is appointed stand-in Coach for 2014, stepping in for suspended James Hird. The Club finishes 7th but is beaten by the Kangaroos in the Elimination Final. Young champion Dyson Heppell wins the Best and Fairest. Cale hooker and Dyson Heppell selected in All-Australian side. Memberships again sets a new record hitting 60,712.





On 31 March AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal finds 34 current and former Essendon players not guilty of using a banned supplement. In May the World Anti-Doping Agency appeal to the Court for Arbitration of Sport prolonging the saga until the following January. Dustin Fletcher plays his 400th game against Richmond in the Dreamtime game. A groin injury sustained in the game ends his season and he finishes his career as the only Essendon player to play 400 games and only the third in League history. James Hird who had resumed as senior coach resigns in August. Defender Michael Hurley is selected as All-Australian. Membership sets another record high of 61,276.

Twelve listed players suspended for the season and replaced with 10 'top-up'players. Despite predictions the team would be winless it wins three games including a rousing final game against Carlton. Essendon finish bottom for the first time since 1933. Joe Daniher is the leading goalkicker with 39. Zach Merrett wins the best and fairest.

First season since 2012 that so-called "supplements scandal"is not over club's head. Club drafts number 1 draft pick Andrew McGrath and further strengthens it's squad with recruiting Adam Saad, Jake Stringer and Devon Smith through trades. Team defies expectations to make finals. Membership surges to 67,718, highest in history. McGrath wins Rising Star award as the competition's best first-year player. 

Club recruits elite midfielder Dylan Shiel. Club signs multi-million dollar five-year sponsorship deal with Amart Furniture, the biggest in club's history. Membership hits record 79,474. Newcomer Devon Smith wins the best and fairest.