Pops, you have been a Bomber for a mere fleeting moment, but to you, I pen this note to express my sincere gratitude. You came to the club at short notice after retiring with 270 odd games and 3 flags to your name. You were admired by fans across the league for the way you played the game in the navy blue and white. I wasn’t sure what to expect when you got to the Bombers. I was worried that the game may have passed you by. I was wary of your motivations for wanting to go around one more season when you had already achieved so much. Today, I am proud to admit that I was wrong to feel the trepidation I did.
You provided Bomber fans with a reason to go and watch their team in what was the worst possible year to be an Essendon fan. To see the way in which you provided leadership and guidance across the defensive unit(s) of 2016 & 2017 has been a privilege. But it has been your poise and polish that I have admired the most. I don’t recall you missing a target over the last two seasons. I don’t remember seeing you panic or rush in any of the decisions you have made on the field.
As a Geelong player, you were often overlooked as one of the “stars” of that dominant era. To Essendon fans, you have been a beacon, a pillar of hope. You will always be a champion of Essendon in our minds, what came before your time in red and black is secondary.
I want to thank you for being the rock in our team, and for being a good bloke. I hope we can make the finals this year to farewell yourself and our other champion retiree Jobe in the best possible fashion.