'Sad day': AFL rocked by tragic death of Essendon legend

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Bruce Reid, pictured here during an Essendon game in 2016.
Bruce Reid looks on during an Essendon game in 2016. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The AFL world is mourning the death of beloved former Essendon club doctor Bruce Reid.

He was 74.

Reid took indefinite leave from the club late in 2018 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells of internal organs.

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The tragic news was confirmed on AFL Trade Radio on Wednesday.

“It's sad news for everyone, especially (wife) Judy and the kids,” Essendon great Brendon Goddard said.

“The footy club was almost like a sanctuary for him, he just loved the club and the boys.

“He has had such an immense impact on so many people's lives. Such a wonderful man.”

James Hird and Bruce Reid, pictured here during an Essendon game in 2013.
James Hird and Bruce Reid during an Essendon game in 2013. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Tributes flow after death of Bruce Reid

Reid was the longest-serving senior doctor in the AFL and had been at Essendon for 36 years.

He previously worked at Richmond from 1976 to 1979, before moving to Essendon in 1982.

He also played two years at Hawthorn in 1966 and 1967, featuring in three senior games.

The devastating news comes just days after Reid was announced as one of four Essendon figures who will be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2021.

Reid, along with Gavin Wanganeen, Neale Daniher and Dustin Fletcher, were unanimously nominated by the club’s Hall of Fame committee.

Reid was club doctor during Essendon’s infamous supplements scandal, but was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

He was given life membership at the club in 1994 and the Jack Titus Recognition of Service Award from the AFL in 2010.

Tributes have been flowing for Reid on social media.

“Absolutely shattered to hear of the passing of Bruce Reid,” Essendon great Scott Cummings wrote.

“Some ppl just leave a lasting positive mark on u and that to me is the meaning of life. My heart goes out to his family and all my ex teammates and other Essendon players and staff who love him so much.”

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