The Essendon 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 Football club and his son, Alex, its first secretary. Alex later became president of the newly formed VFL. Alex’s cousin, Collier McCracken, who had already played with Melbourne, was the team’s first captain.
The club played its first recorded match against the Carlton second twenty on 7 June 1873, with Essendon winning by one goal.
The 3rd May 1997 saw the issuing of a cover to mark the 125th Anniversary of the Essendon Football Club. 50 of the covers were issued and were stamped with the Essendon AFL Centenary Stamp and the Essendon Permanent Pictorial Postmark (APM29070). The cover is displayed in the banner.
As part of the celebrations the Team of the Century was announced on the 17th September 1997