IF YOU believe older brother Simon, two thirds of the Madden Cup’s rightfully his. 

Having turned out in 378 games for the Bombers, as opposed to kid brother Justin’s paltry 287 for the Blues (and 45 more for Essendon thrown in), Simon believes he’s entitled to every piece of the precious silverware . . . and “Harry” can help himself to its bakelite base.

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Justin, rather magnanimously, acknowledges that Simon probably lays claim to a greater percentage of the trinket, but is no less proud to be associated with it in name.

“It just beggars belief that it’s 25 years now since the Cup was founded and it’s been that long since I last went around,” Justin said.

“That said, I’m no less honoured to share the name of the trophy with my brother.”

On Sunday afternoon at the MCG, the Carlton and Essendon teams again vie for the Madden Cup - an annual award sourced to Justin’s retirement in 1997. 

The Madden Cup has been contested on an annual basis in the years since. After 24 contests, Essendon has emerged victorious on 13 occasions; Carlton having most recently notched win number 11 by the narrowest of margins in Round 4, 2020 - courtesy a late, well-timed Liam Jones headbutt to thwart what would have been Jacob Townsend’s match-winning shot on goal.

It also happens to be 110 years since Carlton and Essendon players set the trend as the first to take to the field wearing guernsey numbers.

Carlton full-forward Vin Gardiner, wearing the No.13 now worn by Liam Stocker, became the first to kick a goal wearing a number on his back.

Simon, a long-serving member of the Essendon Football Club board, will be in attendance for Sunday’s match, as will Justin. Which of them presents the trophy will be very much determined by which team wins.