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Reference_ 1954 VFL Grand Final

Matches



Introduction

After nine VFL Premierships (1898 1899 1900 1908 1913 1919 1920 1923 1924), on Saturday the 25th September 1954, a crowd of 80,897 at the M.C.G. watched Footscray achieve a VFL premiership.

Season and Lead-up

Since 1950 Footscray had an up and down time on the VFL ladder, ending in the bottom three on the ladder in 1950 and 1952, but also as finalists in 1951 and 1953. During 1954, led by veteran Captain/Coach Charlie Sutton, the League's 1954 leading goal kicker Jack Collins Footscray ended the 1954 home and away season in second position. Ladder leaders Geelong had beaten Footscray in their only meeting in round nine, but Footscray kicked away for a 23 point victory in the semi-final after the teams had been tied at three quarter time.

Melbourne had been premiers in 1948 but were in the bottom three teams in the league in 1951 and 1953. The team was rebuilding well. Coached by Norm Smith and with 18 year old Ron Barassi and 19 year old Bob Johnson now in the team supporting experienced players such as Denis Cordner. Melbourne ended the Home and Away season in fourth position and had to defeat North Melbourne in the Semi-final, then Geelong in the Preliminary final to reach the Grand Final and a meeting with Footscray.

Grand Final Week

The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 Charlie Sutton Footscray - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 Charlie Sutton Footscray - Source- Google News Archive

Charlie Sutton
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 John Kerr Footscray - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 John Kerr Footscray - Source- Google News Archive

John Kerr
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 Ted Whitten Footscray - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 Ted Whitten Footscray - Source- Google News Archive

Ted Whitten
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 Dave Bryden Brian Gilmore Footscray - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 Dave Bryden Brian Gilmore Footscray - Source- Google News Archive

Dave Bryden
Brian Gilmore
The Age 23-Sep-1954 p9 Noel McMahon Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 23-Sep-1954 p9 Noel McMahon Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Noel McMahen
The Age 23-Sep-1954 p9 Peter Marquis Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 23-Sep-1954 p9 Peter Marquis Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Peter Marquis
The Age 24-Sep-1954 p12 Geoff Case Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 24-Sep-1954 p12 Geoff Case Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Geoff Case
The Age 24-Sep-1954 p12 Ken Albiston Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 24-Sep-1954 p12 Ken Albiston Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Ken Albiston
The Age 24-Sep-1954 p12 Laurie Mithen Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 24-Sep-1954 p12 Laurie Mithen Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Laurie Mithen
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 Herb Henderson Footscray - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 22-Sep-1954 p14 Herb Henderson Footscray - Source- Google News Archive

Herb Henderson

Teams

Footscray

B:Wally DonaldHerb HendersonDave Bryden
HB:Alan MartinTed WhittenJim Gallagher
C:Ron McCarthyDon RossDoug Reynolds
HF:Roger DuffyPeter BoxRon Stockman
F:Brian GilmoreJack CollinsCharlie Sutton (c)
Foll:Harvey StevensArthur EdwardsJohn Kerr
Reserve(s):Jack NuttallAngus Abbey
Coach:Charlie Sutton


Melbourne

B:John BeckwithLance ArnoldKen Christie
HB:Geoff Collins (c)Noel McMahenDon Williams
C:Ralph LanceKen MelvilleIan McLean
HF:Laurie MithenGeoff McGivernGeoff Case
F:Bob B JohnsonNoel ClarkeKen Albiston
Foll:Denis CordnerRon Barassi JnrStuart Spencer
Reserve(s):Frank AdamsBrian Dixon
Coach:Norm Smith


Reference_ 1954 VFL Grand Final - Winning Team (Footscray)
Reference_ 1954 VFL Grand Final - Defeated Team (Melbourne)

The Game

Footscray had a comfortable win in the game. They established a 29 point margin in the first quarter and never looked back.

TeamsQ1Q2Q3Final
Footscray6.3 (39)8.5 (53)12.9 (81)15.12 (102)
Melbourne1.4 (10)4.6 (30)6.7 (43)7.9 (51)
FO by 29FO by 23FO by 38FO by 51


Goals:
Footscray: Collins 7: Sutton 3, Duffy , Kerr , Reynolds , Stevens , Stockman
Melbourne: Albiston : Barassi , Clarke , Johnson , McLean , Mithen , Spencer

Match Reviews

They've got that flag at last! BULLDOGS LEAVE MELBOURNE FAR BEHIND. (1954, September 27). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 23. Retrieved January 31, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23445264

FOOTSCRAY THRASH MELBOURNE FOR FIRST PREMIERSHIP. (1954, September 25). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), p. 59. Retrieved January 31, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58105661

Photos

The Age 27-Sep-1954 p15 Wells Cartoon - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p15 Wells Cartoon - Source- Google News Archive
Argus 27Sep1954p1 Footscray
Argus 27Sep1954p1 Footscray


The Age 27-Sep-1954 p15 Herb Henderson Footscray Ron Barassi Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p15 Herb Henderson Footscray Ron Barassi Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Herb Henderson
Ron Barassi Jnr
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p18 Ted Whitten Footscray Ron Barassi Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p18 Ted Whitten Footscray Ron Barassi Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Ted Whitten
Ron Barassi Jnr
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p18 Charlie Sutton Footscray Ken Christie Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p18 Charlie Sutton Footscray Ken Christie Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Charlie Sutton
Ken Christie
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p15 Roger Duffy Footscray Don Williams Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p15 Roger Duffy Footscray Don Williams Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Roger Duffy
Don Williams
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p18 Jack Collins Footscray L Arnold Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p18 Jack Collins Footscray L Arnold Melbourne - Source- Google News Archive

Lance Arnold
Jack Collins
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p15 Peter Box Footscray - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p15 Peter Box Footscray - Source- Google News Archive

Peter Box


The Aftermath

Chris McConville's article 'Footscray, Identity and Football History' in Football Studies v1.1 Jan 1998 relates the events of the evening after the Grand Final as a series of disorganised events soured the moment for some and "ushered in months of recriminations between club, players, supporters and Council.". These events probably had repercussions on the clubs performance in the coming years.

The Age 27-Sep-1954 p3 Footscray Supporters at ground - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p3 Footscray Supporters at ground - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p3 Footscray Supporters - Source- Google News Archive
The Age 27-Sep-1954 p3 Footscray Supporters - Source- Google News Archive
Argus 30Sep1954 p1 Famed Jersey given to boy
Argus 30Sep1954 p1 Famed Jersey given to boy
Argus 27Sep1954p5 Police Stop Party
Argus 27Sep1954p5 Police Stop Party

The Following Years

The 1954 was a highlight for Footscray and for Melbourne's West. Unfortunately the following years were less successful with another finals appearance in 1956 but back to the bottom end of the ladder by 1959.

1954 Football presented to Charlie Sutton - Source: Bulldogs Museum - Whitten Oval (Photo MRiley)
1954 Football presented to Charlie Sutton - Source: Bulldogs Museum - Whitten Oval (Photo MRiley)
1954 Premiership Cup - Source: Bulldogs Museum - Whitten Oval (Photo MRiley)
1954 Premiership Cup - Source: Bulldogs Museum - Whitten Oval (Photo MRiley)
1942 Member Ticket FFC - Source: Bulldogs Museum - Whitten Oval (Photo MRiley)
1942 Member Ticket FFC - Source: Bulldogs Museum - Whitten Oval (Photo MRiley)


In contrast to Footscray, the 1950s were a golden age for Melbourne with five premierships in the following six years (1955,1956,1957, 1959 and 1960).

http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/87904/20080821-0952/www.fullpointsfooty.net/bulldogs_find_their_bark.html





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