2016 Premiership Players Club

The 2016 Premiership Players club induction was held on the 24 November 2016. The inductee, club and Premiership years are seen in the table below.

AFL Premiership Players Club honours premiership heroes

Sunbury’s Kevin Andrews was among those honoured on Thursday night at the AFL Premiership Players Club annual stamp launch.

Each year the club’s committee selects 20 premiership players, coaches or umpires to be inducted onto an Australian postage stamp.

Andrews was one of two former umpires in attendance on Thursday night at Windy Hill to receive the honour.

This year’s group included some of the biggest names in football, with the late great Norm Smith and John Coleman among those to be recognised.

Past teammates and players, who played under the two when they were coaches, shared their memories of the two AFL legends.

Coleman’s daughter Jenny was attendance in honour of her father, while the great Ron Barassi, who lived with Norm Smith for a number of years, received Smith’s stamps on behalf of his family.

Andrews, meanwhile was honoured for his role as a goal umpire, having umpired in the 1985 and 1986 grand finals.

He umpired 114 VFL/AFL games.

While Andrews made his name in football for his work in between the goal posts, naturally attention turned to his other football achievement.

In 1959, 16-year-old Andrews wrote what would become the Essendon Football Club’s theme song.

At the time, Andrews was living with the parents of former Bombers player Jeff Gamble.

“Every Friday night, there was a variety [television] show on channel 7, called Sunnyside Up,” Andrews said on Thursday.

“Jeff came over to visit his mum and dad one Saturday morning singing this [theme] song and I said ‘I know what you watched last night’.

“Just clowning around… Instead of singing the first line of the song, he changed the words to ‘see the Bombers fly up, up’.

“He never said anymore.

“I asked Mrs Gamble for a writing pad, so she gave me one. I started to pen the words to what is now known as the Essendon bombers theme song.”

Andrews paid tribute to Gamble and another former Essendon player Hugh Mitchell in his speech.

He said without the two his life would have turned out very differently.

“I’m very lucky,” he said.

“They were sensational and gave me direction in life.”

Andrews, was one of two umpires honoured along with AFL umpire games record holder Rowan Sawers.

Sawers, a field umpire, umpired a record 410 games, including four grand finals. He’s currently the umpires coach at the Essendon District Football League.

Among the other former players recognised included Mick Malthouse, Justin Madden, Garry Foulds and Jim Buckley.