Who wants number 3?

Now that Gumby is off to the Dockers the number 3 guernsey at Essendon has become vacant. But who would want it? Other than the greatest of them all, Dick Reynolds, and perhaps Paul Salmon the number has been a curse to many who have worn it. Only four players have played more than 100 games wearing the number: Dick Reynolds, Paul Salmon, Norm Beckton, and John Gill. It has been a number often allocated to the “next best thing” at Essendon and the fans have watched and waited with huge expectations for those players to live up to the hype that preceded them only to be let down by their performances on the field. Remember Barry Day? He came across from South Australia in 1979 with a huge reputation. Six goals in a practice match, if I remember correctly, enhanced that reputation and big things were expected. But alas, they were not to be. Ian Payne, Michael Redenbach, Steven Beaumont, Ryan O’Connor, and Aaron Henneman together with Day, Fish and Gumby have worn the number 3 since 1970. Only the Fish you can honestly say has worn that number with any distinction. So who will wear number 3 come the 2014 season? It’s time for the circle to turn.

About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Neil Anderson says

    The Bulldog’s number 3 is held in high esteem as it is at Essendon. Not a bad double; EJ and Dick Reynolds.
    The Bulldogs have had a pretty good run handing down the number 3.The best being Chris Grant and current player and future Captain Mitch Wallis. Not so memorable were Allan Stoneham who didn’t seem to be around very long (seven years starting at age 16). Bulldog officianados can correct me if I’m wrong about his career and there was Andrejis Everett who also didn’t set the world on fire.
    So, I couldn’t be happier with Mitch Wallis wearing number three at the Bulldogs. As I’ve written before it was the only number worn by kids at my primary school when I was growing up. They didn’t even bother with poor old Charlie Sutton’s number 6!

  2. I like that Essendon keeps number three for a player of potential.
    But it’s hard to pinpoint success to a number on a jumper.
    Players make the number famous. Numbers don’t make the player famous.
    I hope Essendon give the number three wisely.
    I like that Nathan Buckley and Nick Maxwell wore number five. It seems right to give the captain designated number.
    If Pendelbury becomes captain, hopefully he’ll wear number five…

  3. And the number goes to…Chappy! I guess we can blame the curse of number 3 when he fails to play more than 6 games this year, and not his ageing hamstrings.

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