Former Essendon player and AFL coach Mark Thompson leaves the Melbourne Magistrate Court last Thursday. Picture: David Crosling/AAP
Former Essendon player and AFL coach Mark Thompson leaves the Melbourne Magistrate Court last Thursday. Picture: David Crosling/AAP

The email that broke an AFL legend

DISGRACED former AFL premiership player and coach Mark "Bomber" Thompson says he's at his lowest point but he can see a way out.

Thompson, who is facing seven drug-related charges, has opened up in a candid interview with the Herald Sun.

The 54-year-old discussed his two failed marriages, his mental health and the fallout with the Essendon football club over the supplements saga that saw 34 Bombers players suspended for two years and coach James Hird axed.

Thompson told the newspaper he became obsessed with clearing his name and wants nothing to do with football these days. He said his email to Essendon chairman David Evans, described by football commentator Caroline Wilson as "deluded rantings", was a call for help.

The email was sent to Evans in 2017. In it, Thompson told Evans that Hird "will die" and that "you need to save my life and that of James Hird".

"I was as shocked as anyone when I heard about (Hird's battle with mental illness)," Thompson told the Herald Sun.

"I thought that he was the rock … but when it got to the point where someone was prepared to take their own life because of the program and the investigation … it was just a joke.

"All we had set out to do was to find the truth. That's all the players want … they just wanted to know what went in their bodies, and we haven't been able to tell them."

Thompson admitted he is "the worst I've been" and said going to court has been "embarrassing" and "intimidating".

 

Former AFL coach player Mark 'Bomber' Thompson admits he is at his lowest point. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Former AFL coach player Mark 'Bomber' Thompson admits he is at his lowest point. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

 

The interview has drawn mixed reactions from the public. Some say Thompson allegedly made bad choices and isn't "living in the real world", but others offered support.

"Hang in there Bomber," one person wrote. "So many of us want to see you back on top of life."

The three-time premiership winner made headlines when police raided his Port Melbourne home in January and allegedly discovered drugs including methamphetamine, ecstasy, ephedrine, LSD and MDMA.

The drugs were allegedly found in plastic bags at Thompson's residence on January 5. Some of the drugs were found in a small room protected by a keypad that investigators allege only Thompson could access. Police will allege the bags contained Thompson's DNA.

Thompson was interviewed by detectives in January about the drugs but was not charged with any crimes until May 1.

He was released on bail even though police believed he was a flight risk because he had access to a yacht and money.

Strict bail conditions require Thompson to report to police three times a week. He also agreed to pay a $20,000 surety and notify authorities if he needs to travel interstate for football commitments.

He has also been banned from contacting three other people - Thomas Windsor, Katia Drcec and Karl Holt - who were charged following the raid of his home.

Thompson did not discuss the charges he is facing when speaking with the Herald Sun.

Go to the Herald Sun to read the full interview

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