19 November 1963 (age 60)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 128d
Last game: 32y 202d
Height and weight
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 87 kg
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Popularly known as 'Bomber', Mark Thompson was a highly dependable performer for Essendon in 202 V/AFL games from 1983 to 1996. A dual club best and fairest winner, he played most of his football as an attacking half back flanker who provided plenty of rebound without neglecting his defensive duties. Always a popular figure at Windy Hill, he was appointed club captain in 1992, and led the Bombers to the 1993 premiership.
'Bomber' Thompson was appointed coach of Geelong in 2000 and got the club to the finals in his first season. Three disappointing years followed before the Cats emerged as a genuine premiership threat in 2004, ultimately finishing fourth. In 2005 they more or less marked time and ended up in fifth position after the finals, before under-achieving quite dramatically in 2006 and slumping to 10th. In 2007, however, things came together in as near perfect a way as is probably possible in modern professional sport, and the Cats claimed their first flag since 1963 in resoundingly emphatic fashion. 'Bomber' Thompson thus became only the seventh man in V/AFL history to achieve premiership success as both a captain and a non- playing coach.
Thompson coached the Cats to another flag in 2009, before crossing back to Essendon to be senior assistant-coach to James Hird in 2011. The James Hird was suspended from coaching for the 2014 season after the 'peptide' affair, Thompson took over the Bombers' head coaching role for that season. He guided the Dons to an Elimination Final finish before Hird resumed the reins the following season.
Author - John Devaney, with updates by Andrew Gigacz