Vale Harry Horsnell

It is with a great sense of shock and sadness that I mark the passing of eighty year old Harry Horsnell from a heart attack at the MCG on Saturday night. Harry was a life long supporter and worker for the club among other things being Sheed’s statistician for many years and more recently being the gentlest of security staff at Tullamarine.
Those of us who attended training would always start the morning in the cafe talking to Harry, listening to his considered and passionate views, and enjoying his fund of stories stretching back forever. Sometimes he would bring his wonderful wife Jean who was a delight to talk to.
Harry was a kind, generous, funny man who will be very, very sadly missed.


Essendon Football Club is mourning the passing of Harry Horsnell.

Harry passed away on Saturday. He was 80.

A Life Member, Harry’s association with the Club stretched back around 40 years.

He worked as a statistician during Kevin Sheedy’s time as Coach.

“Harry loved the Essendon Football Club with a passion,” Sheedy said.

“He was sincere in his effort and tenacious in his loyalty.

“He was well before his time with his statistical analysis of the game.

"I put him on a similar level to the AFL’s great stats man, Col Hutchinson.

“Harry was that good.

“I spoke to him recently and thanked him for his contribution and I’m very glad I did.”

Harry has been a constant presence at Essendon’s training sessions in recent years where he served as a fan liaison officer working closely with colleague and close friend, John Shaw.

“He was a very down to earth person, he was experienced in many things and he was great company,” Shaw said.

“I’ll miss his stories and I’ll miss his help around training.

“There were two things he loved; his family and the footy club.”

Fellow Life Member and former player and assistant coach Robert Shaw said Harry embodied the selflessness and loyalty of the volunteers who play such an important role in football clubs.

“Harry was a part of the place when I arrived at the Club as a 17 year old,” Shaw said.

“He was the master of manual statistics in the days before Champion Data and Sportscode.

“Harry was so methodical and never lost his passion for stats. He’d have plenty of interesting stuff tucked away.

“His contribution as a volunteer was absolutely outstanding and underlines the value of a person who dedicates his life to a football club for no financial reward.”

Essendon Captain Dyson said Harry well a much-loved figure among the playing group.

“Harry was a great man, he was always very bubbly and would be kicking around the footy club with a smile on his face,” Heppell said.

“He loved the Club, loved the people around the place and he’s certainly someone that made the Club a better place.”


really sad to hear this. RIP Harry.

1 Like

A very friendly man, I had a couple of chats with him at training. He always approached me, I assume initially the first time to ensure I wasn’t an opposition spy. Only a few chats but one could tell he was a very genuine humble guy who loved the EFC, and as a fan at training he made me feel very welcome.

RIP Harry.

1 Like

RIP to a great servant of the club.

Another informal piece of our history lost. l hope someone recorded some of his stories. RIP to a great Essendon personality.

What a gem. I actually did statistics at Essendon before Harry did, which probably makes people think I’m very old when in fact I’m very young and handsome.

Vale Harry - so sorry to hear you’re no longer with us.


Was he the guy that passed at the footy on the weekend?

I don’t recall the face but earlier this preseason I attended training and an older guy came up to me. And similar to the post above I thought it was to check whether I was a spy haha
But we had a chat for about five mins before he wandered off to check out another group, and no doubt have a chat with

It’s actually really good how we look after the elder Essendon people - a great example is Jack Jones. Hopefully they feel appreciated by the players and club whilst still around to enjoy it.

1 Like