Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson played 202 games for Essendon Football Club from 1983 to 1996 under legendary coach Kevin Sheedy. He captained the side for four seasons. Thompson played in three premierships in 1984, 1985 and 1993 alongside some characters and champions in an era where footy was a game, not a brand.
After a stint as an assistant coach at Essendon and then at North Melbourne under Denis Pagan, Thompson sold his electrical business and became the senior coach of the Geelong Football Club, where he seized the opportunity to combine his own ideas about footy and management with what he’d learnt from Sheedy and Pagan. After surviving a major review of his football department in 2006, Thompson coached the greatest team of all to the club’s drought-breaking premiership in 2007, then took them to another flag in 2009. In November 2010 he left Geelong, burnt out but leaving the legacy of a winning culture. He returned to Essendon as senior assistant coach to James Hird in 2011, and was then appointed senior coach for the 2014 season when Hird was suspended. He left Essendon at the end of 2014 and is now a panelist on Fox Footy.