Reference_ 1898 VFL Grand Final


Season and Lead-up

This Final was a 'Right-of-Challenge' match. It was not termed as a 'Grand Final' at the time. This match is now considered the first VFL grand Final.

The 1898 rules stipulated that, if the team at the top of the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season (the "minor premiers") had not won the "Sectional Final" match between the two sectional winners,8 the "minor premier" had the right to "challenge" the winner; and, having done so, the winner of that grand finale match was declared the season's premiership team. - wikipedia

Both teams had concerns over the condition of the ground before the final game. Essendon initially refused to play, and only agreed at the last moment.



BStan ReidJohnny PowerJerry Nolan
HBAlec Sloan Pat HickeyJack Dalton
CEddie DrohanHarry Clarke b1876Kelly Robinson
HFChris KiernanBert SharpeBill Dalton
FFred FontaineJim GraceAlf McDougall
FollMick GraceBill McSpeerinBill Potter
Pat DescrimesPaddy Noonan


BTed KinnearNed OfficerHugh Gavin
HBGeorge StuckeyJim AndersonGeorge Vautin
CJoe GrovesHarry WrightAlf Gray
HFTod CollinsColin CampbellGeorge Hastings
FConrad TenbrinkCharlie MooreGus Kearney
FollCharlie ForbesArthur CleghornPat O'Loughlin
Bill JacksonSon Barry

Reference_ 1898 VFL Grand Final - Winning Team (Fitzroy)
Reference_ 1898 VFL Grand Final - Defeated Team (Essendon)

The Game

Venue: Junction Oval (St Kilda
Date: Sat 24-Sep-1898
Attendance: 16,538
Rules: 20 players on field - No Substitutes/Interchange

Fitzroy2.5 (17)4.5 (29)5.6 (36)5.8 (38)
Essendon1.0 (6)3.1 (19)3.2 (20)3.5 (23)

Goal Kickers
Fitzroy: J Grace 2, M Grace 1, McDougall 1, McSpeerin 1
Essendon: Collins 2, Moore 1

Match Previews

Decided to play at last minute

Match Reviews

Sportsman Melbourne 1-Oct-1898 p6
Argus 25-Sep-1898 p7


Weekly Times 1-Oct-1898 p19
Australasian 1-Oct-1898 p28

The Aftermath


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