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AFL top 100: Essendon nicknames 40 to 21

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Roar Guru
19th January, 2022
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Essendon players with distinctive nicknames were hard to find, so the last few selections may be a bit weak.

40. ‘Ned’: Edward A. Officer (1897). Not an uncommon nickname for someone named Edward, but because of his surname (Officer), his occupation (doctor) and the fact that he was nearing the end of his career by the time the VFL began.

39.’Bill 1′: Gordon Leslie Hall was a wingman from Woodlands in the Essendon District League. He had difficulty getting a regular senior game and played 21 games between 1935 and 1938 and then two more in 1942.

38. ‘Bill 2’: William Robinson played in the 1901 flag side and played for Victoria in the same year.

37. ‘Mick’: Leslie Whittle Irving (1927) came from Koroit.

36. ‘Harry’: His nickname was ‘Harry’, but was his real name Henry, Jack or John? (1937).

35. ‘Ern’: Vernon P. Hazelwinkle (1909) played under the surname Hazel and his third club was Essendon. He was the beneficiary of an injury to Allan Belcherin the finals series and lined up as a back pocket in the 1911 grand final win.

34. ‘Johnnie’: Bill. A. Walker (1911) was connected to a famous drop of whiskey. Keep walking.

33. ‘Ted 1’: George F. Regan (1938) was a strong defender who was a reserve in the 1941 grand final. Regan, an RAAF crew member, was killed over Burma in 1943.

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32. ‘Ted 2’: This would be a normal nickname for someone named Edward Charles Rippon (1933), but his later fame as a hotelier and football commentator meant he deserved to make the list.

31. ‘Bull’: Vigorous, big, burly and feared were all words used to describe Jim Martin (1902) who holds the distinction of being one of only two players who have played in premiership sides in successive years with two different clubs.

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30. ‘Snowy’: Ernest John Martin (1923) only managed a few games at his first club, Carlton, but had another VFL stint in 1928, this time at Essendon, but struggled with a knee injury in his two seasons and eventually returned to Coburg.

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29. ‘Skeeter’: The word skeeter means quick and darting, and has been used a few times to describe AFL/VFL players. In Essendon’s case it was used to describe James Larkin (1898).

28. ‘Pos’: The nickname was an abbreviated form of ‘Possum’ given to William Wright Watson, who played for Essendon VFA and in WA.

27. ‘Bomber’: Mark Thompson’s (1983) nickname as a kid was ‘Bomba’ due to his ability to climb trees to fetch footballs and cricket balls. It evolved into ‘Bomber’ when he joined Essendon.

26. ‘Spudda’: Greg Tate (1947) was one of the speedsters who were part of the 1940s mosquito fleet.

25. ‘Bluey 1′: First there was Bob McClure (1946), a brilliant ruckman from Meeniyan who played in three premierships and retired early due to a knee injury.

24.’Bluey 2’: Then there was Ian Stanley Shelton (1959). Recruited from the Avenel-Longwood Football Club, Shelton was a strong, courageous, and talented footballer, able to kick well with both feet, who played at centre halfback.

23. ‘Dookie’: John Joseph McKenzie (1901) gained the nickname ‘Dookie’ from his favourite player as a youth, Alex ‘Dookie’ McKenzie, a Carlton and Melbourne player of the 1880s, and 1890s.

22. ‘Chooka’: Charles Francis May (1922) was an excellent centre player who starred in the 1923-24 premierships.

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21. ‘The Gentle Giant’: Geoff Leek (1951) transformed from an awkward youngster into one of the league’s top ruckmen. Leek was vice-captain of the 1962 premiership team.

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