Essendon Bombers assistant coach Dale Tapping has been diagnosed with blood cancer myeloma

A key member of Essendon’s coaching staff, Dale Tapping, will continue in his role while he undergoes weekly treatment for a type of blood cancer, the club say.

Assistant coach Tapping said he experienced pain for about three months after the 2022 season, a pain similar to the rib cartilage he had suffered from in the past but was later diagnosed as myeloma. Myeloma is a blood cancer that starts in the plasma cells that form in the bone marrow.

Essendon assistant coach Dale Tapping.

Essendon assistant coach Dale Tapping.Credit:Getty Images

“I have a really good plan and I am being looked after by the best specialists. [to] Give us our greatest chance to live a long, healthy life,” he said in a statement from the club, adding that he “feels good” with a regular exercise regimen.

“The specialists have given me strong encouragement to keep working and to keep things as normal as possible. I’ve made some slight adjustments in terms of diet and exercise, but nothing dramatic.”


Sharing the news with his teenage kids was different than the tough discussions Tapping had in the professional coaching life, he says.

“Conversations removing players from final teams is a walk in the park compared to talking to your 14-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter about your challenge,” Tapping said. “I’m really proud of how they handled it.”

Essendon Chief Executive Craig Vozzo said Tapping’s health and well-being was a priority.

“As dedicated and selfless as Dale is, it’s important that he put himself and his family first during this time and we will be with him every step of the way,” Vozzo said. Essendon Bombers assistant coach Dale Tapping has been diagnosed with blood cancer myeloma

Ryan Sederquist

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