- Windy Hill, Essendon
stadium_name = Essendon Recreation Reserve
nickname = Windy Hill
location = Essendon
1991(for AFL matches)
demolished = "incumbent"
surface = Grass
architect = "various"
Essendon Football Club(administration only)
Essendon Cricket Club, Essendon District Football League, Bendigo Bombers
former_names = Essendon Cricket Ground
Windy Hill (officially known as Essendon Recreation Reserve) is an
Australian rules footballground located in Essendon, a northwestern suburbof the Melbournemetropolitan area.
Windy Hill is the home base of the
Essendon Football Club, one of the 16 teams that makes up the Australian Football League. The club played their home games there up until 1991, before moving to the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Their current home ground is Telstra Dome, located at the Melbourne Docklands, which they moved to in 2000.
Windy Hill is located on Napier Street, and is now primarily the team's training facility and administrative headquarters as well as the home to the
Essendon Cricket Club. The ground also hosts the Grand Finals of the Essendon District Football Leaguesenior divisions. Over time a few of the stands and the manual scoreboard were demolished. Facilities include a gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool and lawn bowls/croquet club which is open to the public, as well as a bistro and the now famous Bomber Shop where fans can purchase merchandise.
The ground includes a significant heritage stand, the A.F Showers Stand. Built in 1939, it was the last major football stand to be build in Melbourne prior to
World War II.
During the days as Essendon's home ground, Windy Hill had the reputation of being a violent place for both players and spectators, and was the site of several ugly incidents. The most famous of these was The Battle Of Windy Hill, when a huge fight broke out between Essendon and Richmond players and officials at half time during a match in 1974. Another famous incident is when the Hawthorn player
Leigh Matthewsbroke the behind post after running into it during play.
The record attendance for the venue was set in 1966, when Essendon played Collingwood in front of 43,487 spectators.
The playing field dimensions are 164.5 m long (180 yards) and 139.8 m across (153 yards).
Essendon Football Club
Australian Football League
* [http://localhero.biz/article/permatitle/history_of_windy_hill_essendon/ History of Windy Hill (Essendon Recreation Reserve)]
* [http://www.bomberblitz.com/columnists/bftp/index.php?column=01.php The 1974 Windy Hill Brawl]
* [http://www.aroundthegrounds.bellestorie.com/windy/windy.html "Around the Grounds" - Web Documentary - Windy Hill]
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