Bendigo Bombers Football Club

The club entered the VFL in 1998 as the Bendigo Diggers. In 2003 after two successive winless seasons, the club formed an affiliation with the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League, under which Essendon could field its reserves players in the Bendigo team. The Diggers mascot was changed to the Bendigo Bombers in the same year to match the mascot of the Essendon AFL club.

After the completion of the 2011 season, Essendon announced that the 2012 season would be the last season of affiliation with Bendigo; Essendon fielded a stand-alone reserves team in the VFL from 2013, and Bendigo intends to fielded a stand-alone senior team. To reflect the impending change, the team changed its name to the Bendigo Gold, starting in 2012 (while the club was still affiliated with Essendon).

After very uncompetitive 2013 as a stand-alone club, going winless with a percentage of only 34.4, there were fears for the viability of the club; but the club secured sufficient members, sponsors, and commercial ventures to survive, and will compete in 2014.