AFL great Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson faced a Melbourne court on Tuesday charged with drugs offences.
Victoria Police confirmed that “a 54-year-old Port Melbourne man had been arrested and charged with a number of offences, including two counts of trafficking ecstasy, trafficking methyl amphetamine, possessing ecstasy, possessing LSD and possessing a prescription drug without prescription”.
Thompson’s Port Melbourne home was raided by police officers in January as part of an investigation into the trafficking of drugs.
He allegedly had a collection of illicit drugs in a locked room at his home, as well as handwritten notes about drug transactions.
Thompson, who played in three premierships with Essendon and coached Geelong to two flags, was granted bail on Tuesday evening after being charged with seven drug-related offences, including trafficking and possession.
Senior Constable Naomi Bourke told the court that the quantities of methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD and MDMA were found in plastic bags during the raid of Thompson’s home.
Some of the drugs were found in a small room protected by a keypad locked entry.
Police allege only Thompson had access to that room.
Constable Bourke opposed Thompson’s bail application on the basis he was a flight risk because he had access to a yacht and money.
“He has access to large amounts of funds with a potential to flee,” she said.
“He is using drugs of dependence as well as trafficking.”
But magistrate Leonard Brear granted bail on strict conditions, including that Thompson surrender his passport and report to police three times a week.
Thompson has also agreed to pay a $20,000 surety and notify authorities if he needs to travel interstate for football commitments.
He must also not consume any drugs of dependence and is banned from communicating with three other people – Thomas Windsor, Katia Drcec and Karl Holt – who were charged following the raid of his home.
Windsor, 28, lived with Thompson at the property and is facing charges of trafficking commercial quantities of amphetamine and ice and trafficking ecstasy.
Investigators claimed in a Geelong court on Monday – where Windsor was applying for bail – that they found “digital scales, multiple clear resealable bags and Xanax tablets” in Thompson’s locked bedroom, in addition to ecstasy tablets and pipes.
Former clubmates express concern
Former Essendon great Matthew Lloyd aired concerns for Thompson’s wellbeing on Monday evening.
“He was my first ever captain and one of the most respected people I’ve ever been involved with in football,” he said on Footy Classified.
It’s so sad to see what’s become of Mark of late.”
Another former teammate of Thompson’s, Tim Watson, said on Tuesday morning he had no idea where the 54-year-old was, but that he hoped he would attend Essendon’s 25-year premiership reunion later this year.
“I don’t know where he is and I’m hopeful [he attends], given he was such a significant part of that team. He was the captain,” Watson said on SEN.
“It’s in a few weeks … I know a lot of people have reached out to him and have not been able to make contact.”
A career full of glory
Thompson played 202 matches for Essendon from 1983 to 1996, winning three premierships with the club.
He also proved to be a fine coach, leading Geelong from 2000 to 2010 in an era that included two flags.
And he then coached Essendon in the 2014 season, deputising for the banned James Hird due to the club’s controversial supplements program.
In 2017, Thompson said in a frank speech that the toll the Essendon doping saga had taken on him would “probably end up killing me”.
“It just sits in my guts and churns and it still does and it’s going to probably end up killing me because I can’t let it go,” he said.
“People tell me I’ve got to let it go, but I can’t.”
Thompson is due back in court on May 25.