Category Archives: obituaries

What I know about Dean Bailey.

Dean Bailey

(pic: Melbourne FC)

What I know about Dean Bailey.

Dean Bailey played 50 odd games for Essendon in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s. While watching those matches, I remember I used to comment that Bailey always started his games well and was a nuggety on-ball type player. I have since seen video footage of him playing for Essendon on my father’s extensive range of old VCR footy replays and he was perhaps a better player than I remember. He kicked a booming long 60 metre goal on the run at Windy Hill against Sydney and had the ball on a string that day. He also played plenty of great games as an important ‘run with’ player in the Bomber’s teams of the day.

Dean Bailey’s two boys Mitch and Darcy played footy and cricket at the Strathmore club with my own son Adam. Dean was often there watching his boys and while I can’t claim to have known him well (I knew him as “G’day Dean”, he knew me as “G’day Mate”), I do have a couple of memories that spring to mind.

Dean always seemed to have a joke or a dry witty comment or an observation on the game. He was extremely approachable and he would often voice his comments on the game to those standing with him. It was easy to forget he was the AFL star that he was in his day job. He was just another dad at the local game on a Saturday morning. Mitch and Darcy always went out of their way to say hello – most often before being spoken to first.

If I was rostered to collect the boys’ subs money for the day’s game, Dean would point towards his wife and comment ‘Caron’s the finance lady!’

I sat next to Dean at a cricket match one morning and had a general conversation about the Essendon Football Club in his time of playing there. He was very open and frank about the ins and outs and the workings of the club. He seemed to have loved his time at Essendon and was very obliging in letting me in to some of the secrets of the personalities and workings at the Bombers at the time.

There was just the two of us chatting on this occasion and I have always remembered that conversation.

Dean Bailey – tragically taken too soon.

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Alan Noonan – my first hero dies.

I am very saddened to read the news today of the passing of my first ever footy hero.

Alan (Lurch) Noonan passed away yesterday of a long illness. Noonan is probably the first player I idolised when I was a kid. A great goal kicker, solid high mark and speedy leader to the ball, Noonan wore Essendon’s famous number 10 guernsey.

Noonan was a great player for Essendon in a bleak era for the club. He kicked 420 goals in 182 games for Essendon before moving to Richmond in the 1977 season for 10 games. Noonan held the record for being leading goal kicker for Essendon (7 times) before his record was broken by Matthew Lloyd in 2004. He represented Victoria on 4 occassions.

I would have worn Alan Noonan’s number 10 on my footy jumper if only my mum could have made a  number 10 out of an old white pillow case. She struggled making a zero so I had to be content with the number 1 Neville Fields on my footy jumper which was still a pretty good trade off.

Noonan was often spotted in the outer at the footy supporting the Bombers or around the Essendon/Moonee Ponds area. The few times I bumped in to him I would always say “G’day Lurch” to which he would always reply “G’day mate!”

Sadly missed and fondly remembered, Alan Noonan number 10.

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