DESPITE the ASADA investigation hanging over its head, Essendon supporters have continued to rally behind their club, with the Bombers passing 55,000 members for the first time.
"On behalf of the playing group, thank you to each and every one of the 55,000 passionate and loyal members that have stood behind the club this year and bought a membership," Essendon skipper Jobe Watson told BomberTV.
"Hearing the roar of the Bomber army and seeing the sea of red and black in the members' stands helps the players take our game to the next level.
"The support we've received from our members over the past few months has been phenomenal."
Essendon's 2013 membership tally has eclipsed the club's previous record of 50,271, which was set in 2011.
The Bombers now have 7000 more members than they did at the same time last year.
"It is a significant achievement for the club to reach this record-breaking milestone, and we extend our sincerest appreciation to each of our 55,013 members," Essendon chairman David Evans said.
“We have received unwavering support this year from our members.
"Our members are the heart and soul of our football club and it means a lot to our players to have such a strong membership base supporting the team each week."