Footy FAQ: AFL Clubs and Club History

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5. Australian Football League Clubs

Sixteen clubs compete in the Australian Football League. Only two clubs have ever folded in the AFL (or VFL): University was merged into Melbourne in 1914, and Fitzroy into Brisbane in 1996. In 1982, South Melbourne relocated to Sydney. A list of details for each AFL team follows. This article is undergoing revision at this time.


  • The phone numbers below are listed for interstate dialing within Australia. To direct-dial them from the United States or Canada, dial 011-61- followed by the last digit of the city code.
  • The jersey descriptions include full sleeves and collars; however, the sleeveless versions are favored by most footballers. Aussie winters are relatively mild by comparison to many parts of North America; Melburnians will complain about the cold and break out heavy coats, club scarves and beanies (read "stocking caps" or "toques") when game-time temperatures dip below 10C (50F).¬† (Average overnight winter temperatures in Melbourne are 7 to 10C (44 to 50F) which would be considered warm for many locations where American football is played in the USA or Canada.¬† Daytime temperatures average 14 to 17C (57 to 63F) in winter in Melbourne hence the ability to wear sleeveless jerseys.)¬†
  • Web links to each club with an official Web site are included. (St. Kilda's site is run by the AFL; the Kangaroos do not have an official Web site, but most clubs have a number of unofficial supporter sites.) The AFL offers information and news items for each club at


Postal Address: PO Box 10, West Lakes, SA 5021, Australia
Phone: (03) 9827-9111
Fax: (03) 9827-9112
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1991
Joined AFL: 1991
Home Ground: AAMI Stadium, West Lakes, South Australia
Ground Dimensions: 165m by 133m
Senior Coach: Neil Craig
Official Colors:  
Jersey Navy blue, red and gold hoops
Shorts Navy blue
Socks Navy blue, red and gold hoops
Nickname: Crows
Premierships: 1997-98
Brownlow Medallists: Mark Ricciuto, tied 2003
Prime Sponsors: Toyota (the "Camry Crows")

Malcolm Blight, who coached the Crows to two premierships in a row, announced his resignation in the middle of his third season, citing professional burnout. Gary Ayres took the job after the home-and-away season, shortly after his resignation from Geelong. Gary Ayres departed midway through the 2004 season and was replaced by his assistant Neil Craig, who had played SANFL football, but never played at AFL level. Craig was also the club's fitness coach and has a degree in sports science and worked at the Australian Institute of Sport. His innovations for training and list management have seen the team improve out of sight. By mid-season 2006, the Crows had one of the highest percentages in league history and were already considered outright favorites for the 2006 premiership,.


Postal Address PO Box 1535, Coorparoo DC, Qld 4151, Australia
Phone: (07) 3335-1777
Fax: (07) 3891-1222
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1987
Joined AFL: 1987
Home Ground: Woolongabba Ground (The Gabba), Brisbane, Queensland
Ground Dimensions: 156m by 138m
Senior Coach: Michael Voss
Official Colors:  
Jersey Maroon with gold chevron in white trim
Shorts Maroon with gold and white trim
Socks Maroon with gold and white pencil stripes around the top.
(1997 on)  
Jersey Maroon with gold lion logo, blue yoke, gold sleeve and collar trim
Shorts Maroon with gold and white trim
Socks Maroon with gold and white pencil stripes around the top.
Nickname: Bears (before 1997)
  (Brisbane removed the koala from their shield logo in 1995 and replaced it with a stylized form of the team name.)
  Lions (1997 on)
Premierships: 2001-2003
Brownlow Medallists: Michael Voss, 1996, Jason Akermanis, 2001, Simon Black 2002 
Prime Sponsors: AAPT (a telecom company), Bank of Queensland, Carlton United Breweries

Matthews took the club to the top and kept them there for several years. They made the finals in 1999 and 2000 before becoming the dominant team of the competition over the next 3 seasons, although they never finished the season proper in first place. They continued that strength into 2004 and were favorites to equal Collingwood's record of 4 consecutive premierships but were defeated by Port Adelaide. Injuries savaged the team in 2005 and they fell to 11th. Injury and age took its toll again in 2006 and the club struggled early in the season, but hit a modicum of form over the second half of the year. They finished ninth in 2007 and 10th in 2008. At the end of 2008, Leigh Matthews resigned as coach with former club icon Michael Voss replacing him.


Postal Address: PO Box 83, North Carlton, Vic 3054, Australia
Phone: (03) 9387-1400
Fax: (03) 9387-7805
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1864
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Telstra Dome & MCG, Melbourne;  Training Ground is still Optus Oval 
Ground Dimensions: 158m by 135m. Goals run east to west.
Senior Coach: Brett Ratten
Official Colors:  
Jersey Dark navy blue with white "CFC" monogram
Shorts Dark navy blue
Socks Dark navy blue
Nickname: Blues
Premierships: 1906-7-8, 1914-15, 1938, 1945, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981-82,1987, 1995
Brownlow Medallists: BJ Deacon - 1947, J James - 1961, G Collis - 1964,
Greg Williams - 1994
Prime Sponsors:

Dan Murphy's (a liquor store chain), MC Labor (ground sponsor who replaced Optus in 2006)

Carlton was considered the most successful club in the competition with 16 premierships and never finishing last in its history, until 2002. Years of poor management and recruiting from the administration and penalties for salary cap cheating saw the club take a dramatic slide on and off the field. They recovered enough form to win the 2005 preseason championship, but again finished last during the main season and were in serious debt.  In 2005, the club decided they would be better off financially by playing all their games at the Telstra Dome and the MCG, as Optus Oval had no lights for night games and had a seating capacity of less than 30,000. They still retain Optus Oval for administrative and training purposes.


Postal Address: PO Box 165, Abbotsford, Vic 3067, Australia
Phone: (03) 8412-0000
Fax: (03) 8412-0172
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1892
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Victoria
(Training) Lexus Center, Olympic Park, Melbourne CBD 
Ground Dimensions: 160m by 141m. Goals run east to west.
Senior Coach: Mick Malthouse
Official Colors: (Home) Black & white
Jersey Black and white vertical stripes on body and horizontal stripes on sleeves.
Shorts Black
Socks Black
Jersey Wide black stripes with Magpie logo at center; black numbers in white field on back.
Shorts White
Socks Black
Nickname: Magpies
Premierships: 1902-3, 1910, 1917, 1919, 1927-28-29-30, 1935-36, 1953, 1958, 1990
Brownlow Medallists: Syd Coventry - 1927, A Collier - 1929, Harry Collier - 1930, M Whelan - 1939, Desmond Fothergill - 1940, Len Thompson - 1972, P Moore - 1979, Nathan Buckley (tied) - 2003
Prime Sponsors: Emirates Airlines,Versaci, Transport Accident Commission

Tony Shaw resigned effective at the end of his original three-year contract with the Magpies, after failing to improve their record during his term and "winning" the mythical Wooden Spoon as last-place finishers in 1999. Mick Malthouse decided he had done all he could with the West Coast Eagles during his 10 year stint in WA and wanted to return to Melbourne. He signed on with the Pies and, after 2 years of rebuilding, took them to consecutive Grand Finals in 2002-2003, losing narrowly in a heart-breaker to Brisbane and getting thumped in 2003. The next 2 years were disappointing with the side savaged by injury, but they bounced back in 2006 to be serious flag contenders.  The Magpies abandoned their antiquated Victoria Park as a training ground in 2004 to move into the state-of-the-art facilities at the new Lexus Center near the MCG. They had previously abandoned Vic Park several years prior to play home games at the MCG. 


Postal Address: PO Box 17, Essendon, Vic 3040, Australia
Phone: (03) 9230 0300
Fax: (03) 9370-6804
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1873
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Victoria
(Training) Essendon Recreation Reserve ("Windy Hill"),
Essendon, Victoria
Ground Dimensions: 159.5m by 128.m. Goals run north to south 
Senior Coach: Matthew Knights
Official Colors: Red & black
Jersey Black with a red sash
Shorts Black
Socks Red with black hoops
Nickname: Bombers
Premierships: 1897, 1901, 1911-12, 1923-24, 1942, 1946, 1949-50, 1962, 1965, 1984-85, 1993. 2000
Brownlow Medallists: Dick Reynolds - 1934, 1937, 1938,
Bill Hutchinson - 1952, 1953,
G Moss - 1976, Gavin Wanganeen - 1993,
James Hird - 1996 (tied)
Prime Sponsors: 3 Mobile Phone


(merged into Brisbane in 1996)

Founded: 1884
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: EJ Whitten Oval, Barkly St, Footscray, Victoria
Ground Dimensions: 176m by 127m. Goals run north to south
Official Colors:  
Jersey Red, royal blue collar, cuffs and yoke, gold "FFC" monogram
Shorts Royal blue
Socks Red with royal blue top
Nickname: Lions
Premierships: 1898-99, 1904-05, 1913, 1916, 1922, 1944.
Brownlow Medallists: Haydn Bunton - 1931,1932,1935,
W Smallhorn - 1933, D Ryan - 1936,
Allan Ruthven - 1950, Kevin Murray - 1969,
Bernie Quinlan - 1981


(dba Western Bulldogs)

Postal Address: PO Box 4112, Delivery Center, Footscray West, Vic 3012, Australia
Phone: (03) 1300 46 36 47
Fax: (03) 9689-6101
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1883
Joined AFL: 1925
Home Ground: EJ Whitten Oval, Barkly St, Footscray, Victoria (until 1997)
  Colonial Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria
Ground Dimensions: 159.5m by 128.8m. Goals run north to south 
Senior Coach: Rodney Eade (appointed 2006)
Official Colors: Blue, white & red
Jersey Royal blue, red & white chest hoop with stylized bulldog
Shorts Royal blue (home, white (away)
Socks Royal blue with red & white band at top
Nickname: Bulldogs
Premierships: 1954
Brownlow Medallists: Allan Hopkins - 1930, N Ware - 1941, P Box - 1956,
John Schultz - 1960, Gary Dempsey - 1975,
K Templeton - 1980, Brad Hardie - 1985,
Tony Liberatore - 1990, Scott Wynd - 1992, Adam Cooney - 2008
Prime Sponsors: LeasePlan (home loan company)


Postal Address: PO Box 381, Fremantle, WA 6959, Australia
Phone: (08) 9433 7000
Fax: (08) 9433 7001
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1995
Joined AFL: 1995
Home Ground: Subiaco Oval, Perth, WA
Ground Dimensions: Subiaco - 175.6m by 122.4m
Senior Coach: Mark Harvey
Official Colors: (Home) Purple, red, white & green
Jersey Purple background featuring one green and one red chest panel separated by a white anchor
Shorts Purple
Socks Purple with red, white, & green hoops at top
Jersey Purple background with red and blue vertical ribbons and white anchor on front; purple numbers on white background on back
Shorts White
Socks Purple
Nickname: Dockers
Premierships: None
Brownlow Medallists: None
Prime Sponsors: LG Electronics


Postal Address: PO Box 461, Geelong, Vic 3220, Australia
Phone: (03) 5225 2300
Fax: (03) 5221-8462
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1858
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Skilled Stadium in Kardinia Park, Moorabool St, Geelong, Victoria (nee Kardinia Park, then Baytec Stadium, then Shell Stadium)
Ground Dimensions: 170m by 115m. Goals run north to south
Senior Coach: Mark "Bomber" Thompson
Official Colors:(Home) Blue & white
Jersey Navy blue and white hoops
Shorts Navy
Socks Navy blue and white hoops
Jersey Gradient blue with three white Adidas-style stripes and GFC monogram at chest; numbers in white on back
Shorts White
Socks Navy blue and white hoops
Nickname: Cats
Premierships: 1925, 1931, 1937, 1951-52, 1963, 2007
Brownlow Medallists: Edward "Carji" Greeves - 1924, B Smith - 1951, Aaron Lord - 1962, Paul Couch - 1989, Jimmy Bartel - 2007 
Prime Sponsors: Ford Motor Company, NIB Health Funds Insurance

Geelong's original name was the Pivotonians because of the town's "pivotal" role as a seaport and the home ground was Corio Oval, near the Corio Bay. Corio Oval had to be abandoned in 1940 because of the war and the team went to their current home, originally known as Kardinia Park. The Pivotonians became the Cats when a black cat ran onto the ground during the half time break of a juniors game. A newspaper cartoonist suggested it might bring the struggling Geelong, who had won just 2 from 7 games, some luck. The team won the next day and captain Cliff Rankin concurred with the journalist the cat had brought luck to the side and the team became known as the Cats. They were one of several teams to drop out of the competition in 1916 due to wartime travel restrictions with Geelong being 60 kilometers southwest of Melbourne along the Port Phillip Bay. 


Postal Address: PO Box 52, Hawthorn, Vic 3122, Australia
Phone: (03) 9819-2199
Fax: (03) 9819-5697
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1874
Joined AFL: 1925
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Victoria
(Training) Glenferrie Oval, Hawthorn, Victoria
Ground Dimensions: 180m by 142m. Goals run north to south
Senior Coach: Alistair Clarkson
Official Colors: Brown & gold
Jersey Brown and gold vertical stripes on front, plain gold back.
Shorts Brown
Socks Gold
Nickname: Hawks
Premierships: 1961, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1986, 1988-89, 1991, 2008
Brownlow Medallists: Col Austen - 1949, Robert "Dipper" Dipierdomenico - 1986, John "Rat" Platten - 1987 (tied), Shane Crawford (1999)
Prime Sponsors: HSBC (a London based banking and financial services company)


Postal Address: PO Box 254, East Melbourne, Vic 3002, Australia
Phone: (03) 9650-1111
Fax: (03) 9654-6039
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1858 (possibly the oldest club of its kind on Earth)
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Vic.
Ground Dimensions: 160m by 141m. Goals run east to west
Senior Coach: Mark Riley
Official Colors: Blue & red
Jersey Navy blue with red yoke
Shorts Navy blue
Socks Red
Nickname: Demons
Premierships: 1900, 1926, 1939-40-41, 1948, 1955-56-57, 1959-60, 1964
Brownlow Medallists: IP Warne-Smith - 1926, Dr Don Cordner - 1946,
B Wilson - 1982, P Moore - 1984, Jim Stynes - 1991, Shane Woewodin - 2000 
Prime Sponsors: Primus Telecommunications

North Melbourne (dba Northern Kangaroos)

Postal Address: PO Box 158, North Melbourne, Vic 3051, Australia
Phone: (03) 8327-0300
Fax: (03) 9328-3514
Founded: 1869
Joined AFL: 1925
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Vic.
(Training) North Melbourne Cricket Ground, Arden Street, Melbourne
Ground Dimensions: 160m by 141m. Goals run east to west
Senior Coach: Dean Laidley
Official Colors: Royal blue & white
Jersey (Traditional) Royal blue and white vertical stripes
(Alternative) Traditional stripes above running kangaroo in royal blue silhouette on white
Shorts Royal blue
Socks Royal blue
Nickname: Kangaroos
Premierships: 1975, 1977, 1996, 1999
Brownlow Medallists: Noel Teasdale - 1965, Keith Greig - 1973,1974,
Malcolm Blight - 1978, Ross Glendinning - 1983
Prime Sponsors: Mazda, Primus Communications

The Kangaroos became the first "traveling team" in football history. They proposed the concept to the AFL during the 1998 season, and played five home dates at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1999. As part of the initiative, they dropped the "North" from their name and became simply the Kangaroos. They then shifted to Manuka Oval in Canberra, the Australian capital. In 2008, the AFL offered the Kangaroos a lucrative deal to relocate to the Gold Coast in Queensland, but the club refused.  

Port Adelaide

Postal Address: PO Box 379, Port Adelaide, SA 5015, Australia.
Phone: (08) 8447-4044
Fax: (08) 8447-8633
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1870
Joined AFL: 1997
Home Ground: Football Park, West Lakes, South Australia
(Training) Alberton Oval, Port Adelaide, South Australia
Ground Dimensions: 165m by 133m
Senior Coach: Mark Williams
Official Colors: Black, teal & white
Jersey Teal blue, white and black bands with "lightning bolt" contrast strokes at the left shoulder
Shorts Black
Socks Black
Nickname: Power
Premierships: 2004
Brownlow Medallists: Gavin Wanganeen (won when he was at Essendon in 1993)
Prime Sponsors: Scott's Transport Services, Vodafone (cellular phones), South Australian Brewing Company

On December 13 1994, the SANFL announced that the Port Adelaide Football Club (currently playing in the SANFL) would become South Australia's second team in the AFL when a new license became available.

The SANFL was told to prepare a possibility for a 2nd South Australian team as early as 1996. (The Adelaide Crows had a 5 year market exclusivity deal in SA until then.) Debate then arose as to when/if Port Adelaide would be admitted, as the AFL was not keen to expand to a 17 team competition. It had been previously foreseen that a Victorian club would fold or merge thus providing the way for a licence being made available; Fitzroy's failure and merger with Brisbane in 1996 finally made it possible.

Another issue to be resolved was that of Port Adelaide's jersey design and logo. Unlike the other expansion teams, Port had an already existing history in the SANFL - the Port Adelaide Magpies, with a black and white vertically striped jersey. The name and colors, however, were already 'owned' by Collingwood in the AFL. Port had already registered 6 names as possibilities, including the Pirates, and the Raiders, and were considered likely to retain black and white as their colors but add silver in addition. But within weeks of their admission in 1996, Port Power introduced a new organization with entirely new uniforms incorporating teal blue instead of silver (either of which bothered traditionalists to no end).  There remains a Port Adelaide Magpie team in the SANFL.


Postal Address: PO Box 48, Richmond, Vic 3121, Australia
Phone: (03) 9429-5333
Fax: (03) 9421-2846
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1885
Joined AFL: 1908
Home Ground: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Yarra Park, Jolimont, Vic.
(Training) Punt Road Oval in Yarra Park, Punt Road, Richmond, Vic.
Ground Dimensions: 160m by 141m. Goals run east to west
Senior Coach: Terry Wallace
Official Colors: Yellow & black
Jersey Black with yellow sash
Shorts Black
Socks Black and yellow hoops
Nickname: Tigers
Premierships: 1920-21, 1932, 1934, 1943, 1967, 1969, 1973-74, 1980
Brownlow Medallists: Stan Judkins - 1930, JW Morris - 1948,
Graeme Wright - 1952,1954, Ian Stewart - 1971
Prime Sponsors:  Motorola

The Transport Accident Commission was the club's major sponsor for many years, but several drunk driving incidents by the players over a period of several years resulted in the TAC - which tries to promote a strong anti-drink-while- driving message - cancel their sponsorship in 2005.

St. Kilda

Postal Address: PO Box 1034, Moorabbin, Vic 3189, Australia
Phone: (03) 9559-6688
Fax: (03) 9555-6917
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1873
Joined AFL: 1897
Home Ground: Telstra Dome, Melbourne, Victoria
(Training) Moorabbin Oval, Moorabbin, Victoria
Ground Dimensions: 159.5m by 128.82m. Goals run north to south
Senior Coach: Ross Lyon
Official Colors: White, black, & red
Jersey (traditional) Red, white and black vertical stripes, crest on left breast, black back and sleeves, red cuffs on sleeves, white collar
Jersey (alternate) Outsized crest with black cross, red top panels and black bottom panels, red bottom, crest on left breast; remainder as before
Shorts Black
Socks Red, white and black hoops.
Nickname Saints
Premierships: 1966
Brownlow Medallists: C Watson - 1925, B Gleeson - 1957,
N Roberts - 1958, Verdun Howell - 1959,
Ian Stewart - 1965, 1966, R Smith - 1967,
Tony Lockett - 1987, Robert Harvey - 1997, 1998
Prime Sponsors: Bill Express (a bill payment service with outlets at many locations throughout Australia)


Postal Address: PO Box 173, Paddington, NSW 2021, Australia
Phone: (02) 9339-9123
Fax: (02) 9339-9100
Founded: 1874 as South Melbourne
Joined AFL: 1897; relocated to Sydney in 1982
Home Ground: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, New South Wales
Ground Dimensions: 149m by 136m. Goals run north to south
Senior Coach: Paul Roos
Official Colors: Red & white
Jersey White with red "V" yoke, with Opera House roof in silhouette at base; red back, red cuffs and collar
Shorts Red
Socks Red
Nickname: Swans
Premierships: 1909, 1918, 1933, 2005 
Brownlow Medallists: Herbie Matthews - 1940, R Clegg - 1949,
FW Goldsmith - 1955,
Bob Skilton - 1959, 1963, 1968,
Paul Bedford - 1970, Graham Teasdale - 1977,
Barry Round - 1981, Greg Williams - 1986,
Gerard Healy - 1988, Paul Kelly - 1995, Adam Goodes  - 2003 (co-winner with Nathan Buckley and Mark Ricciuto), Adam Goodes - 2006
Prime Sponsors: QBE Insurance


Joined AFL: 1908
Home Ground: 1908-10 East Melbourne Cricket Ground, Jolimont, Vic.
(The EMCG was located in what is now a railyard next to the MCG.)
1911-14 Melbourne Cricket Ground, Jolimont, Vic.
Ground Dimensions: EMCG ?, MCG 160m by 141m
Official Colors:  
Jersey Black with blue V neck and cuffs
Shorts White
Socks Black with blue tops
Nickname: Students
Premierships: None
Brownlow Medallists: None

University had trouble retaining players due to the transitory nature of students and their schedules of exams and holidays. The advent of World War One exacerbated the problems and the club folded. While some players crossed to Melbourne, there is no evidence that University actually merged with Melbourne as some believe.

West Coast

Postal Address: PO Box 508, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia
Phone: (08) 9381-1111
Fax: (08) 9388-2541
World Wide Web:
Founded: 1987
Joined AFL: 1987
Home Ground: Subiaco Oval and the WACA, Perth, Western Australia
Ground Dimensions: Subiaco - 173m by 129m, WACA - 165m by 129m.
Senior Coach: John Worsfold
Official Colors:  
Jersey Royal blue with yellow,  ochre and blue eagle with yellow panels
Shorts White with blue trim
Socks Royal blue with gold stripe at top
Royal blue, with gold eagle wings and eagle head logo, white trim.
Shorts Royal Blue
Socks Royal blue with gold top
Nickname: Eagles
Premierships: 1992, 1994, 2006
Brownlow Medallists: Chris Judd - 2004, Ben Cousins - 2005
Prime Sponsors: SGIO Insurance, Hungry Jack's (Burger KIng in Australia, due to the name Burger King being used by an Australia company)

Mick Malthouse resigned as of the end of the 1999 finals campaign to return to Melbourne, presumably to be near ailing family members. Ken Judge was recruited from Hawthorn to replace him. Both had a year remaining on their contracts, which was a subject of some controversy. Judge was replaced in 2002 by former champion Eagle defender John Worsfold (who had a stint at Carlton as an assistant). He took the Eagles to their first Grand Final since 1994, albeit a losing effort against Sydney.  West Coast's original jersey was the royal blue with a yellow eagle on the front and yellow trim. In 2004, they adapted a new home jersey and now use the original blue and gold for away games.

Statistical Trivia from the AFL (and VFL)

Most Premierships:

16 - Carlton (most recent 1995)
16 - Essendon (most recent 2000)

Most "Wooden Spoons" (Last Place):

26 - St Kilda (most recent 1988)

Highest Score in an AFL match:

37.17 239 points - Geelong defeated Brisbane Round 7, 1993

Lowest Score in an AFL match:

0.1 1 point - St Kilda lost to Geelong in Round 3 of the Section B Finals, 1899

Most Goals by a player:

Game: 18 - Fred Fanning (Melbourne) vs St Kilda, Round 19, 1947
Season: 150 - Bob Pratt (South Melbourne), 1934
  150 - Peter Hudson (Hawthorn), 1971
Career: 1360 - Tony "Plugger" Lockett (St. Kilda/Sydney)

Lockett kicked his 1300th VFL/AFL goal for the Swans after the quarter-time siren against Collingwood in Round 10, 1999 at the SCG, breaking a 62-year-old record. Gordon "Nuts" Coventry scored 1299 goals in 18 seasons at Collingwood (1920-37).

Most Consecutive Wins:

23 Games - Geelong Round 12,1952 to Round 13, 1953
Technically, and it is a point of debate, the streak could actually be considered as 26 without a loss, as there was a draw in that mix. 

Most Consecutive Losses:

51 Games - University Round 4, 1912 to Round 18, 1914

Longest Premiership Drought:

72 years: Sydney 1933-2005)

Yet to win a Premiership:

Fremantle (joined 1995)

Yet to 'win' the Wooden Spoon:

West Coast (joined 1987)
Adelaide (joined 1991)
Port Adelaide (joined 1997)

Oldest Player:

43 years - Vic Cumberland, St Kilda, 1920

Youngest Player:

15 years 287 days - Kevin Bromage, Collingwood, 1953

Most Consecutive Matches by a player:

244 - Jim Stynes, Melbourne, Round 16, 1987 to Round 4, 1998

Longest Finals Absence:

32 Years - Hawthorn, 1925 - 1957

Worst team:

Debatable. University has the longest losing streak of 51, but St Kilda's opening few years were pretty bad. From Round 1 1897 (the first VFL matches) to Round 5 1903, St Kilda's record was 2 wins - 101 losses - 1 draw . In fact, St Kilda's first win was actually a draw against Melbourne, which they later won on protest to break a losing streak of 48. Only University's demise prior to WW I produced something to match St Kilda's form.

Best Goal Kicking Average:

5.63 goals/game - Peter Hudson (Hawthorn) (727 goals in 130 games)

Origin of St Kilda's Uniform Crest

Round 5, 1933 St Kilda vs North Melbourne:

Nine Saints players were seriously injured during the game. They eventually finished the game with only 15 men on the ground, many still injured (there was no interchange bench in those days). Despite this, St Kilda managed to hang on for a 97 to 83 win. Emotional officials pinned badges of recognition on the survivors' jerseys. The badge is now incorporated into the uniform.

Fitzroy Win Wooden Spoon AND Premiership in Same Year

1916 - Five of the nine VFL clubs went into recess due to the continuation of World War I. This left only Carlton, Collingwood, Richmond and Fitzroy to play a 12 round season. Fitzroy ended the season on the bottom of the Premiership Ladder with a 2-9-1 record. A Final Four system was in use, so Fitzroy still got to play in the Finals. Producing a remarkable form reversal, Fitzroy won all three finals matches to become Premiers, defeating Carlton in the Grand Final 85 to 56.

Club Nicknames

Many AFL clubs have not always played under their current nicknames. Some examples:

Brisbane Bears
Carlton Navy Blues, Brewers, Bulldogs, Cockatoos
Essendon Same Olds, Dons (still in everyday use)
Fitzroy Maroons, Gorillas
Footscray Tricolors
Geelong Pivotonians (Geelong is "Pivot of the Colony (Victoria)," as Boston is "Hub of New England")
Hawthorn Mayblooms, Mustard Pots
Melbourne Redlegs (still seen occasionally), Fuchsias
North Melbourne Shinboners (still seen occasionally)
Port Adelaide Magpies (present SANFL)
Richmond Yellow and Black Angels, Wasps
St. Kilda Seagulls, Panthers
South Melbourne Southerners, Bloods (still in everyday use), Blood Stained Angels
University Professors, Students

NOTE: "Camrys" is an often-used, but sarcastic, nickname for the Adelaide Crows. The Toyota Camry brand name has appeared on Crows jerseys since Day One.

AFL Attendances

Change and expansion in the AFL certainly haven't hurt attendance figures. Crowd figures have risen steadily over the years with 2005 recording an all time high of 6,763,852 fans attending matches. The highest attendance for 2005 was at the MCG as 91,828 fans witnessed the Grand Final thriller between Sydney and West Coast. 

The record crowd for an Australian Rules Football Game was the 1970 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and Collingwood at the MCG. It drew a crowd of 121,696. Subsequent modifications to the MCG (the building of the Great Southern Stand reduced capacity to just under 100,000, and Cricket Club members with reserved seats in their pavilion always stay away in numbers). However, in 2004, a new redevelopment plan saw the demolition and reconstruction of several sections of stands which brought the capacity back up to a potential 6 figure number. The work was completed in time for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. 

The record for a round was Round 22 of 1998 (August 28-30), with attendance of 367,974. This last weekend of 1998 featured seven clubs still in contention for six spots in the finals, and the final appearance of legendary full-forward Jason Dunstall.

Admission to an AFL ground cost $13.50 in 1999, and was $18 in 2005.  2000. This merely buys your way into the stadium, where you hopefully will find standing room somewhere. Seats are extra, if they are available. Pirces are always higher for finals and the Grand Final with those prices usually announced late in the season.

Club Memberships

One of the distinctive features of Australian clubs is that their fans can become dues-paying members. A simple support membership can be had at most clubs for A$90 or less, which buys access to the club's social club facilities, a membership card with season fixture, and the club magazine. Additional money buys access to reserved seating, among other perks.

Social clubs generally include restaurants, bars, banquet halls, the club trophy case, and a gambling hall featuring video *gambling term* machines. The "pokies" generate substantial revenue for the clubs, and for the contractors who operate them.

While fans can purchase memberships from before the preseason starts right through to the end of the year, the official cut off date for official tallies is June 30. Published membership numbers for 2003-2005 were as follows:

Club Members
  2004  2005  2006
Adelaide 45,642 43,256 50,138
Brisbane 30,221 28,913 26,459
Carlton 32,095 33,534 28,756
Collingwood 41,128 38,612 38,038
Essendon 33,469 32,734 32,511
Fremantle 32,780 34,178 35,666
Geelong 25,021 30,821 32,290
Hawthorn 31,255 29,261 28,003
Kangaroos 23,420 29,261 24,624
Melbourne 20,647 24,805 24,698
Port Adelaide 36,340 36,834 35,648
Richmond 27,133 28,029 29,406
St. Kilda 30,534 24,955 32,327
Sydney 25,010 24,955 30,382
West Coast 40,792 42,406 44,138
Western Bulldogs 19,295 21,974 26,042


The "Prime Sponsors" listed above contribute enough money to their clubs to have their advertising placed on the players' uniforms; this has been allowed since 1977 in the VFL and AFL, and is even more ubiquitous in European soccer and other Australian sporting leagues. As an indication of how much money is involved, the Western Bulldogs ended their long-term relationship with Orica (the former ICI Australia) in 1998 to seek A$1,000,000 support per year. They signed up the major cellular carrier Vodafone just before the 1999 season started, after they lowered their expectations to $800,000.

Sponsors can ask for other favors as well; Carlton's oval at Princes Park was named for the Optus telecom company (the naming rights money helped pay for the seats in the Legends Stand opened in 1997); they lost that sponsorship in 2005 and the new sponsor, MC Labour, took over and the Oval was renamed again. An Adelaide Crows club song began "Here we go, Camry Crows..."  Other unusual favors include:

  • For Round 2 of the 1997 season.¬† M&M/Mars paid Carlton 200,000 Aussie dollars to abandon "the old dark navy blues" for the week (their first jumper change since early in this century) and change colors to help promote the introduction of blue M&Ms in Australia.¬† Fair dinkum.¬† :^)
  • For Round 13 in 1999, Garry Hocking of Geelong agreed to change his name to Whiskas (the cat food brand) for the week in exchange for A$100,000-200,000 cash for the club and for a local animal shelter.¬† The club's ground, originally¬†Kardinai Park, has been renamed several times in the past few years, going from Kardinia, to Shell, to Baytec, and now is known as Skilled Stadium.¬†
  • During one season, for one game, St. Kilda wore a predominantly yellow uniform to honor a sponsorship with Pura Milk

Sponsorship deals don't always work out. Before the 1998 season even started, Collingwood tore up a A$3 million sponsorship deal with Viatel Communications Group when they found out that they were among many conned by Viatel's charismatic chairman John Massey, having never received a penny of promised support. The club signed with Primus Communications for 1998 instead.

Believe it or not, the AFL's prime sponsors for many years were McDonald's and Coca-Cola.  (Believe it. Both are known for their skill at playing to local audiences. We still remember a Coke ad screened in the USA during the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996; the company hired AFL players to put up a red-and-white banner of the sort players run through on game day lettered "Always for the Fans", and had fans run onto the MCG through it.) The Coca-Cola script logo pervaded AFL promotional materials and was painted on AFL football grounds, and the Golden Arches were stamped on the ball itself.  (The author suspects that Aussies are not uniformly thrilled with this.). The current major AFL sponsor is Toyota. However, the preseason competition, the Rising Star Award, and the juniors tournaments are all sponsored by The National Australia Bank (NAB).

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