The Essendon Football Club is a professional Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League, the sports premier competition. Formed in 1871 as a club and playing as a senior club since 1878. It is historically associated with Essendon, a suburb in the north-west of Melbourne, dyson Heppell is the current team captain. A founding member club of both the Victorian Football Association, in 1877, and the Victorian Football League, in 1896, the club claims to have over at least one million supporters Australia wide. Essendon has won 16 VFL/AFL premierships which, along with Carlton, is the most of any club in the competition, the club was founded by members of the Royal Agricultural Society, the Melbourne Hunt Club and the Victorian Woolbrokers. The Essendon Football Club is thought to have formed in 1872 at a meeting it the home of a well-known brewery family, the McCrackens, whose Ascot Vale property hosted a team of local junior players. Robert McCracken, the owner of several city hotels, was the founder and first president of the Essendon club and his son, Alex, Alex would later become president of the newly formed VFL. Alexs cousin, Collier, who had played with Melbourne, was the teams first captain. The club played its first recorded match against the Carlton second twenty on 7 June 1873, Essendon played 13 matches in its first season, winning seven, with four draws and losing two. The club was one of the junior members of the Victorian Football Association in 1877. During its early years in the Association, Essendon played its matches at Flemington Hill. In 1878, Essendon played in the first match on what would be considered by modern standards to be a field at Flemington Hill. In 1879 Essendon played Melbourne in one of the earliest night matches recorded when the ball was painted white, in 1883 the team played four matches in Adelaide. In 1891 Essendon won their first VFA premiership, which they repeated in 1892,1893 and 1894, one of the clubs greatest players, Albert Thurgood played for the club during this period. Essendon was undefeated in the 1893 season, at the end of the 1896 season Essendon along with seven other clubs formed the Victorian Football League. Essendons first VFL game was in 1897 was against Geelong at Corio Oval in Geelong, Essendon won its first VFL premiership by winning the 1897 VFL finals series. Essendon again won the premiership in 1901, defeating Collingwood in the Grand Final, the club won successive premierships in 1911 and 1912 over Collingwood and South Melbourne respectively. The nickname first appeared in print in the local North Melbourne Advertiser in 1889 and it was known firstly as Essendon Town and, after 1905, as Essendon
Scenes from the 1891 VFA Premiership Match in which Essendon defeated Carlton
The Essendon side that won the 1897 VFL premiership
Dave Smith captained Essendon to premiership success in 1911.