AFL 2022 news: Essendon pre-match ceremony 150th anniversary celebration, speech by Dyson Heppell, entrance by James Hird

Essendon was lauded for an extraordinary pre-match ceremony which culminated in one of the most significant moments in the club’s history.

Essendon was commended for an extraordinary pre-match ceremony which celebrated its 150th anniversary and culminated with skipper Dyson Heppell leading one of the most significant moments in the club’s history.

The Bombers celebrated their 150th birthday on Friday night with a fight against one of their fiercest rivals in Carlton.

And the club set the tone perfectly ahead of the first rebound.

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Narrated by rapper Senator Briggs of the Windy Hill club spiritual home, the ceremony began with a video package that celebrated the club’s history and all the key moments along the way.

The focus then shifted to live MCG where Briggs filmed history in the dark, with the club’s 16 premiership cups scattered across the pitch.

Some of Essendon’s inaugural AFLW players were introduced first, including marquee signing Maddy Prespakis. Some wandering boos were heard around the MCG – believed to be Blues fans disappointed that Prespakis, the best and fairest winner of AFLW 2020, had left their club to join the Bombers – but the girls didn’t care, laughing as waved to the crowd.

Club legends Michael Long and Gavin Wanganeen, who won the Norm Smith Medal and Brownlow Medal respectively in the 1993 club premiership year, were then introduced to fans, followed by 2000 premiership heroes Scott Lucas and Adam Ramanauskas .

Bomber all-time leading goalkeeper Matthew Lloyd was then introduced and, in typical Lloyd fashion, picked up some MCG turf and tossed it into the air to check which way the wind was blowing, just like he did before each attempt. shooting from set during his playing career.

The Watsons (Tim and Jobe) and the Fletchers (Ken and Dustin) were next, then all four Daniher brothers (Terry, Neale, Anthony and Chris). As the crowd screamed, there was a nice touch as the brothers helped Neale raise her arms in the air to thank the fans. In a few days, Neale will again be a proud observer at the MCG for the annual Big Freeze slide.

Then came the main event – and in true WWE main event style, James Hird walked in.

In a rare outing at an official Bombers event, Hird entered the MCG turf with one foot under his arm after passing through a wall of smoke. As he waved to the crowd and proudly held his Bombers scarf in the air, there were whistles, predictably, but the cheers seemed to outweigh the taunts.

“How good was James Hird’s reception when he came out? Unbelievable, ”Lion Jonathan Brown told Fox Footy, the triple premiership.

“It was tingling in the spine.”

Hird’s coach Kevin Sheedy made his way down the aisles of the MCG grandstand.

And just like she did nearly 29 years ago after her Bombers beat the West Coast at the same place, Sheedy waved a piece of clothing among fans, even if this time it was a scarf, not her jacket.

The final entry saw 23 Essendon players selected to face the Blues enter the pitch, running past Pyros and through a special banner.

“How good is it? It was great. Kudos to everyone involved, ”Melbourne champion Garry Lyon told Fox Footy.

“If that doesn’t get you around, I don’t know what it does.”

There was a heartwarming sight a minute later as current players headed to the street end of MCG’s punt to greet and thank the club legends who had just been introduced to the crowd.

Then came a thrilling moment as modern players hooked up, not just with some of the biggest names in Essendon history, but in AFL history.

And with dozens of men arm in arm in a circle, skipper Dyson Heppell stood up and addressed the group from the center of the circle.

Heppell grabbed his sweater and spoke with great passion. He was heard referring to the “foundations of Essendon Football Club”.

“This is a really important moment in the history of this club … It doesn’t get much more significant than that,” said Lyon.

St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt added: “It’s as symbolic as it sounds.”

The Bombers’ pre-match ceremony was praised on social media.

Originally published as The captain’s “symbolic” speech, James Hird’s “thrilling” entrance into the epic celebration of Essendon

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