Bomber Mark Thomson and 1984 Premiership Jumper Reunited

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Those of us who have an uneven number of socks would be tempted to view the story surrounding the reunification of former Essendon Bomber Mark Thompson with his 1984 premiership jumper as just another instance of the dryer returning a garment to its rightful owner.

This was not the case, however, as Thompson gave the jumper to a fan, Michael Lawson, who was battling leukemia. Lawson died in 1990 and Thompson had always assumed that the young man that died at the tender age of 18 had been buried with the important piece of memorabilia.

Recent stories of such items being stolen from sports stars by miscreants bent on profiting from selling the items on the black market are not uncommon.

What is uncommon is for the item to be returned after more than three decades. The fact that the guernsey did not go to the grave with Lawson came to light when Lawson’s stepbrother, Mark Hardy, discovered it during the process of sorting through old wardrobe items, some of which had belonged to Lawson.

The rarity of the guernsey would have made it quite valuable, coming as it did, almost 20 years after the Bombers last captured a flag in 1965. Perhaps more so for the fact that aside from doubling in 1985, the Bombers had only two subsequent titles, in 1993 and 2000.