Reference_ 1939 VFA Grand Final


In 1938 Williamstown finished the season in last place on the VFA ladder. A recruitment drive led by local identity JJ Liston gained League players Harry Vallence (Carlton), Gordon Ogden (Melbourne) and Eric Glass (Melbourne). All nearing the end of their careers, and willing to move to the Association where they would be paid a higher rate.

Brunswick's team were the 1938 Premiers who had a strong team under captain Roy mcKay
Sporting Globe 7Oct1939 p4 Williamstown wins Title
Sporting Globe 7Oct1939 p4 Williamstown wins Title

Season and Lead-up

The VFA final four had little to separate them at the end of the home and away season. Prahran topped the home and Away ladder followed by Brunswick. Both with 15 wins from 20 games. Northcote and Williamstown completed the four with 14 wins apiece.

In the first Semi final Williamstown had a tough game against the strong Northcote defence. Northcote led by two points at three-quarter time, and Williamstown won by a single goal 11.14 (80) to 10.14 (74)

Brunswick defeated Prahran the following week in another close game. Down by 21 points at three quarter time, Bruswick scored 6 goals to three in the final quarter to win a place in the Grand Final by four points 15.17 (113) to 16.13 (109) .

The Preliminary Final continued the series of close matches as Williamstown with a four goal lead at three quarter time held out the strong finishing Prahran side who kicked nine goals in the final quarter. Williamstown 17.19 (121) into the Grand Final over Prehran 16.18 (114) by 7 points.

Argus 9-Oct-1939 p4
Argus 9-Oct-1939 p4

The later part of the 1939 season was overshadowed by Australia's entry into what was to become the Second World War.

During the 1939 season war broke out in Europe. During the 1939's Adolf Hitler invaded a number of countries and in September 1939 after making a secret deal with the USSR to split Poland between them, Hitler invaded Poland, who were defeated within weeks.

Now with France, England and the British Empire aligned against him, but with little real fighting having taken place, Hitler again attempted peace overtures. This time they were rejected. Spectators on Grand Final day would have read Hitlers speech which was reprinted on page One of the Argus.



Williamstown Team Source:Roar of the Crowd VFA Finals - Mark Fiddian

BEddie DellerJack McDonoughCliff Johnson
HBArthur CuttingColin WilcoxGordon Ogden (c)
CNorm ChisholmGeorge FitchDoug Menzies
HFJim QuinnBert McTaggartStan Jamieson
FBill SpokesHarry VallenceReg Thomas
FollMatt CaveEric Glass
RJack Paterson
19thBob Willet

(Bob Willet replaced Spokes late in the game)


BCharlie ChallengerTed FayKen McKernan
HBBob FlettJack CooperJack Davis
CTom ClarkeRay QuinnFred Fitzgibbon
HFRoy GardnerRoy McKay (c)Colin Boyd
FJonesGeoff McInnesColin Crawford
FollRon BaileyBill McGrath
RJim Dowling
19thA. Powell

(A. Powell replaced Davis at Half-Time)

Umpire: Hayes

Reference_ 1939 VFA Grand Final - Winning Team (Williamstown)
Reference_ 1939 VFA Grand Final - Defeated Team (Brunswick)

The Game

Sat 7-Oct-1939
Crowd: 47,096

Williamstown3.2 (20)4.9 (33)12.15 (87)14.20 (104)
Brunswick4.5 (29)8.7 (55)10.11 (71)14.11 (95)
BR 9BR 22WI 16WI 9

Williamstown:Vallence 5.2, Paterson 2.5, Jamieson 2.3, Thomas 2.2, McTaggert 1.2, Quin 1.0, Menzies 1.0, Cave 0.4, Fitch 0.1, rushed 0.1
Brunswick: Jones 4.0, McInnes 3.4, Crawford 3.0, McGrath 2.0, Dowling 1.2, McKay 1.0, Bailey 0.2, Boyd 0.1, rushed 0.2

The Age 11-Oct-1939 p4
The Age 11-Oct-1939 p4

Match Previews

Argus 6-Oct-1939 p16
Record (Emerald Hill) 7-Oct-1939 p4
The Age 6-Oct-1939 p12

Match Reviews

Argus 9-Oct-1939 p12
Williamstown Chronicle 14-Oct-1939 p1
The Age 9-Oct-1939 p4


Sporting Globe 7Oct1939 p4 Brunswick Williamstown Grand Final
Sporting Globe 7Oct1939 p4 Brunswick Williamstown Grand Final
Sporting Globe 7Oct1939 p4 TedFay Brunswick HVallence Williamstown
Sporting Globe 7Oct1939 p4 TedFay Brunswick HVallence Williamstown
Argus 9 Oct 1939 P12 Association Grand Final
Argus 9 Oct 1939 P12 Association Grand Final

The Aftermath

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