Reference_ 1952 R8 Geelong v Essendon - First VFL Home and Away Game Under Lights



In 1952 the VFL played a round of matches in regional centres and in interstate capitals. The concept was to promote Australian Rules football around the country and the round has been labelled by many as the ‘Propaganda Round’.

During this round matches were played in Hobart, Sydney and Brisbane. With experience of football under lights at the 1950 carnival, and a desire not to directly compete with Saturday rugby, it seems obvious that the Brisbane game was scheduled under lights at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground.

Courier-Mail 14Jun1952 p6 Cartoon by Ross Quinligan
Courier-Mail 14Jun1952 p6 Cartoon by Ross Quinligan
Courier-Mail 13Jun1952 p4s - John Coleman
Courier-Mail 13Jun1952 p4s - John Coleman

The Teams

Victoria played WA in an interstate game on the same weekend as this game, therefore a number of players were missing from the teams. Geelong crucially lost Fred Flannagan (Centre Half Forward) and Bruce Morrison (Full Back), and Essendon lost Bill Hutchison (Rover). Coleman was not included in the interstate Team, with Jock Spencer from North Melbourne the Interstate Full Forward. (The Argus 3Jun1952 p1)


BSid SmithGeoff WilliamsRussell Renfrey
HBRussell MiddlemissJohn HydeRon Hovey
CLeo TurnerDoug PalmerDon Scott
HFNoel RaysonBill McMasterBob Davis
FJack StevensGeorge GoninonGeorge Swarbrick
FollNorm SharpTom Morrow
RovPeter Pianto
ResLeo O'Halloran
Coach:Reg Hickey


BJim HeenanBill BrittinghamDoug Bigelow
HBLes GardinerRoy McConnellFred Payne
CPeter O'SullivanAlan DaleBert Harper
HFJack JonesBill SnellJack Clarke
FJim CarstairsJohn ColemanLance Mann
FollWally MayJohn Gill
RovRon McEwin
ResBrian Coleman
Coach:Dick Reynolds

The Essendon team selected on the Friday included Syme as a follower but after the game, the Age reported that Carstairs played instead. The Age also indicated that John Gill acted as a follower. This means the most likely team lineup was for Carstairs to come in into Gill's position in the forward pocket and for Gill to take Syme's position as a follower.

Team List references:
The Courier-Mail 13-Jun-1952 p4S
The Age 17-Jun-1952 p14

The Game

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but bad weather caused the game to be postponed until the Monday.

Mon 16-Jun-1952 7:30 PM Brisbane Exhibition

Geelong4.3 (27)6.5 (41)8.7 (55)12.14 (86)
Essendon4.5 (29)10.8 (68)16.15 (111)23.17 (155)
ES by 2ES by 27ES by 56ES by 69


Courier-Mail 17Jun1952 p7
Courier-Mail 17Jun1952 p7
The Age 17Jun1952 p14
The Age 17Jun1952 p14

Coleman kicked 13 Goals helping Essendon to a clear victory, but a few weeks later the Essendon would again play Geelong, this time at windy hill and the game would end in a draw with both teams ending the game on 76 points. Essendon would fail to make the finals whereas Geelong would win the 1952 premiership.

Match Review

ESSENDON IN CODE UPSET. (1952, June 17). The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50302166

What's New

More Articles

Ken and Michael are proud members of the Australian Football Heritage Group (AFHG)
This site is an independent creation. Site content and views expressed are personal and are not endorsed by the AFHG.

Read our comments regarding Sharing Your Football Memorabilia - Donating Items to your Club


Boyles Photos by Year//Interesting Games
1890s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

Outside Football

General links to footballers' occupations and links to other sports.
Links to Outside Football