1939 VFL premiership season
Melbourne Football Club, premier team
Teams12
PremiersMelbourne
3rd premiership
Minor premiersMelbourne
1st minor premiership
Brownlow MedallistMarcus Whelan (Collingwood)
Leading Goalkicker MedallistRon Todd (Collingwood)
Matches played112
Highest78,110
← 1938
1940 →

The 1939 VFL season was the 43rd season of the Victorian Football League (VFL), the highest level senior Australian rules football competition in Victoria. The season featured twelve clubs, ran from 22 April until 30 September, and comprised an 18-game home-and-away season followed by a finals series featuring the top four clubs.

The premiership was won by the Melbourne Football Club for the third time, after it defeated Collingwood by 53 points in the 1939 VFL Grand Final.

Background

In 1939, the VFL competition consisted of twelve teams of 18 on-the-field players each, plus one substitute player, known as the 19th man. A player could be substituted for any reason; however, once substituted, a player could not return to the field of play under any circumstances.

Teams played each other in a home-and-away season of 18 rounds; matches 12 to 18 were the "home-and-way reverse" of matches 1 to 7.

Once the 18 round home-and-away season had finished, the 1939 VFL Premiers were determined by the specific format and conventions of the Page–McIntyre system.

Home-and-away season

Round 1

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 11.18 (84) Richmond 17.19 (121) MCG 21,840 22 April 1939 Collingwood 18.14 (122) Geelong 14.7 (91) Victoria Park 17,500 22 April 1939 Carlton 20.22 (142) South Melbourne 13.10 (88) Princes Park 25,000 22 April 1939 St Kilda 18.20 (128) Hawthorn 9.13 (67) Junction Oval 15,500 22 April 1939 North Melbourne 11.9 (75) Fitzroy 9.12 (66) Arden Street Oval 14,000 22 April 1939 Footscray 14.18 (102) Essendon 15.17 (107) Western Oval 23,000 22 April 1939

Round 2

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 17.13 (115) North Melbourne 11.11 (77) Glenferrie Oval 11,000 29 April 1939 Fitzroy 14.18 (102) St Kilda 20.14 (134) Brunswick Street Oval 15,000 29 April 1939 Essendon 19.21 (135) Melbourne 21.15 (141) Windy Hill 20,000 29 April 1939 Richmond 20.19 (139) Footscray 17.8 (110) Punt Road Oval 26,000 29 April 1939 South Melbourne 15.17 (107) Collingwood 21.20 (146) Lake Oval 17,000 29 April 1939 Geelong 14.8 (92) Carlton 11.13 (79) Corio Oval 15,000 29 April 1939

Round 3

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 16.16 (112) St Kilda 10.21 (81) MCG 25,703 6 May 1939 Essendon 16.8 (104) Richmond 15.16 (106) Windy Hill 21,000 6 May 1939 Collingwood 17.11 (113) Footscray 14.14 (98) Victoria Park 20,000 6 May 1939 Carlton 17.21 (123) North Melbourne 16.10 (106) Princes Park 18,000 6 May 1939 Hawthorn 17.14 (116) Geelong 8.18 (66) Glenferrie Oval 12,000 6 May 1939 South Melbourne 9.14 (68) Fitzroy 10.17 (77) Lake Oval 15,000 6 May 1939

Round 4

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 14.24 (108) South Melbourne 13.7 (85) Punt Road Oval 15,000 13 May 1939 Fitzroy 10.17 (77) Hawthorn 11.11 (77) Brunswick Street Oval 12,000 13 May 1939 North Melbourne 11.8 (74) Melbourne 15.20 (110) Arden Street Oval 10,500 13 May 1939 Geelong 19.15 (129) Essendon 11.15 (81) Corio Oval 11,000 13 May 1939 St Kilda 20.11 (131) Collingwood 13.16 (94) Junction Oval 28,000 13 May 1939 Footscray 5.12 (42) Carlton 14.16 (100) Western Oval 23,000 13 May 1939

Round 5

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 12.18 (90) Melbourne 15.16 (106) Corio Oval 12,000 20 May 1939 Essendon 14.21 (105) St Kilda 8.18 (66) Windy Hill 18,000 20 May 1939 Richmond 16.22 (118) North Melbourne 13.11 (89) Punt Road Oval 11,000 20 May 1939 South Melbourne 18.12 (120) Footscray 16.6 (102) Lake Oval 14,000 20 May 1939 Fitzroy 11.13 (79) Collingwood 17.14 (116) Brunswick Street Oval 15,000 20 May 1939 Hawthorn 13.8 (86) Carlton 11.17 (83) Glenferrie Oval 20,000 20 May 1939

Round 6

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 19.23 (137) South Melbourne 3.12 (30) MCG 16,523 27 May 1939 Collingwood 14.14 (98) Hawthorn 12.7 (79) Victoria Park 15,000 27 May 1939 Carlton 8.13 (61) Richmond 9.14 (68) Princes Park 34,000 27 May 1939 St Kilda 16.18 (114) Geelong 10.16 (76) Junction Oval 17,000 27 May 1939 Footscray 11.13 (79) Fitzroy 15.10 (100) Western Oval 13,000 27 May 1939 North Melbourne 15.11 (101) Essendon 13.10 (88) Arden Street Oval 14,500 27 May 1939

Round 7

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 17.13 (115) North Melbourne 14.13 (97) Corio Oval 8,000 3 June 1939 Fitzroy 14.15 (99) Melbourne 18.14 (122) Brunswick Street Oval 11,000 3 June 1939 South Melbourne 8.14 (62) St Kilda 13.17 (95) Lake Oval 15,000 3 June 1939 Hawthorn 12.15 (87) Footscray 7.23 (65) Glenferrie Oval 12,500 3 June 1939 Richmond 6.17 (53) Collingwood 12.17 (89) Punt Road Oval 40,000 3 June 1939 Essendon 10.12 (72) Carlton 10.18 (78) Windy Hill 20,000 3 June 1939

Round 8

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 7.13 (55) Richmond 12.21 (93) Glenferrie Oval 21,000 10 June 1939 St Kilda 18.12 (120) North Melbourne 16.10 (106) Junction Oval 17,000 10 June 1939 Collingwood 18.15 (123) Carlton 12.12 (84) Victoria Park 36,000 10 June 1939 Essendon 9.16 (70) South Melbourne 13.13 (91) Windy Hill 18,000 12 June 1939 Melbourne 18.14 (122) Footscray 15.13 (103) MCG 22,016 12 June 1939 Geelong 21.17 (143) Fitzroy 14.12 (96) Corio Oval 9,000 12 June 1939

Round 9

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 12.14 (86) St Kilda 19.16 (130) Western Oval 13,500 17 June 1939 Carlton 19.19 (133) Melbourne 15.13 (103) Princes Park 20,000 17 June 1939 South Melbourne 15.18 (108) Hawthorn 12.14 (86) Lake Oval 9,000 17 June 1939 Richmond 12.22 (94) Geelong 9.15 (69) Punt Road Oval 17,000 17 June 1939 Fitzroy 11.15 (81) Essendon 13.12 (90) Brunswick Street Oval 10,000 17 June 1939 North Melbourne 10.18 (78) Collingwood 14.21 (105) Arden Street Oval 14,000 17 June 1939

Round 10

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 16.15 (111) South Melbourne 7.14 (56) Corio Oval 6,500 24 June 1939 Fitzroy 17.13 (115) Richmond 10.13 (73) Brunswick Street Oval 11,000 24 June 1939 Essendon 19.11 (125) Hawthorn 16.19 (115) Windy Hill 11,000 24 June 1939 North Melbourne 15.12 (102) Footscray 11.10 (76) Arden Street Oval 11,000 24 June 1939 Melbourne 22.22 (154) Collingwood 8.12 (60) MCG 26,063 24 June 1939 St Kilda 14.14 (98) Carlton 9.16 (70) Junction Oval 28,000 24 June 1939

Round 11

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 7.9 (51) St Kilda 9.12 (66) Punt Road Oval 17,000 1 July 1939 Hawthorn 8.4 (52) Melbourne 7.12 (54) Glenferrie Oval 8,000 1 July 1939 Footscray 5.10 (40) Geelong 3.7 (25) Western Oval 6,000 1 July 1939 Collingwood 18.9 (117) Essendon 7.18 (60) Victoria Park 10,500 1 July 1939 Carlton 15.13 (103) Fitzroy 7.18 (60) Princes Park 11,000 1 July 1939 South Melbourne 7.6 (48) North Melbourne 14.12 (96) Lake Oval 6,000 1 July 1939

Round 12

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 11.18 (84) St Kilda 15.17 (107) Glenferrie Oval 18,000 8 July 1939 Fitzroy 10.20 (80) North Melbourne 9.16 (70) Brunswick Street Oval 12,000 8 July 1939 Essendon 17.20 (122) Footscray 18.15 (123) Windy Hill 13,000 8 July 1939 Richmond 13.21 (99) Melbourne 15.16 (106) Punt Road Oval 22,000 8 July 1939 Geelong 18.12 (120) Collingwood 16.13 (109) Corio Oval 10,500 8 July 1939 South Melbourne 12.16 (88) Carlton 16.17 (113) Lake Oval 14,000 8 July 1939

Round 13

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 7.7 (49) Richmond 13.25 (103) Western Oval 15,000 15 July 1939 Collingwood 19.11 (125) South Melbourne 8.13 (61) Victoria Park 10,500 15 July 1939 Carlton 14.14 (98) Geelong 12.5 (77) Princes Park 19,000 15 July 1939 North Melbourne 18.11 (119) Hawthorn 11.16 (82) Arden Street Oval 8,000 15 July 1939 St Kilda 16.19 (115) Fitzroy 13.6 (84) Junction Oval 16,500 15 July 1939 Melbourne 7.18 (60) Essendon 10.17 (77) MCG 16,247 15 July 1939

Round 14

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 15.22 (112) Hawthorn 13.12 (90) Corio Oval 5,000 22 July 1939 Fitzroy 15.19 (109) South Melbourne 9.9 (63) Brunswick Street Oval 10,000 22 July 1939 St Kilda 10.18 (78) Melbourne 15.12 (102) Junction Oval 28,000 22 July 1939 Richmond 18.14 (122) Essendon 10.8 (68) Punt Road Oval 17,000 22 July 1939 Footscray 9.14 (68) Collingwood 13.7 (85) Western Oval 11,000 22 July 1939 North Melbourne 10.13 (73) Carlton 11.13 (79) Arden Street Oval 16,500 22 July 1939

Round 15

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 14.18 (102) North Melbourne 9.6 (60) MCG 12,882 5 August 1939 Essendon 15.17 (107) Geelong 6.11 (47) Windy Hill 8,000 5 August 1939 Collingwood 18.8 (116) St Kilda 13.11 (89) Victoria Park 19,000 5 August 1939 Carlton 24.15 (159) Footscray 9.17 (71) Princes Park 12,000 5 August 1939 South Melbourne 12.6 (78) Richmond 18.15 (123) Lake Oval 10,000 5 August 1939 Hawthorn 10.20 (80) Fitzroy 12.7 (79) Glenferrie Oval 6,000 5 August 1939

Round 16

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 15.11 (101) Richmond 18.8 (116) Arden Street Oval 14,000 12 August 1939 Footscray 19.15 (129) South Melbourne 12.10 (82) Western Oval 7,500 12 August 1939 Collingwood 16.8 (104) Fitzroy 10.13 (73) Victoria Park 14,000 12 August 1939 Carlton 18.16 (124) Hawthorn 7.20 (62) Princes Park 11,000 12 August 1939 Melbourne 22.16 (148) Geelong 13.17 (95) MCG 9,413 12 August 1939 St Kilda 13.13 (91) Essendon 18.14 (122) Junction Oval 17,000 12 August 1939

Round 17

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 7.17 (59) St Kilda 12.12 (84) Corio Oval 6,500 19 August 1939 Fitzroy 10.10 (70) Footscray 10.8 (68) Brunswick Street Oval 9,000 19 August 1939 Essendon 14.17 (101) North Melbourne 9.7 (61) Windy Hill 10,000 19 August 1939 South Melbourne 11.14 (80) Melbourne 12.12 (84) Lake Oval 5,000 19 August 1939 Hawthorn 6.15 (51) Collingwood 7.17 (59) Glenferrie Oval 7,500 19 August 1939 Richmond 13.10 (88) Carlton 6.13 (49) Punt Road Oval 40,000 19 August 1939

Round 18

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date St Kilda 11.13 (79) South Melbourne 6.16 (52) Junction Oval 12,000 2 September 1939 Footscray 11.17 (83) Hawthorn 6.7 (43) Western Oval 3,500 2 September 1939 Collingwood 13.13 (91) Richmond 8.11 (59) Victoria Park 28,000 2 September 1939 Carlton 16.22 (118) Essendon 8.14 (62) Princes Park 10,000 2 September 1939 North Melbourne 11.10 (76) Geelong 9.11 (65) Arden Street Oval 3,500 2 September 1939 Melbourne 11.15 (81) Fitzroy 4.11 (35) MCG 9,043 2 September 1939

Ladder

(P) Premiers
Qualified for finals
# Team P W L D PF PA % Pts
1 Melbourne (P) 18 15 3 0 1928 1502 128.4 60
2 Collingwood 18 15 3 0 1872 1535 122.0 60
3 Richmond 18 13 5 0 1734 1469 118.0 52
4 St Kilda 18 13 5 0 1806 1550 116.5 52
5 Carlton 18 12 6 0 1796 1459 123.1 48
6 Essendon 18 8 10 0 1696 1749 97.0 32
7 Geelong 18 7 11 0 1582 1713 92.4 28
8 Fitzroy 18 6 11 1 1482 1661 89.2 26
9 North Melbourne 18 6 12 0 1561 1709 91.3 24
10 Hawthorn 18 5 12 1 1427 1657 86.1 22
11 Footscray 18 4 14 0 1494 1809 82.6 16
12 South Melbourne 18 3 15 0 1367 1932 70.8 12

Rules for classification: 1. premiership points; 2. percentage; 3. points for
Average score: 91.4
Source: AFL Tables

Finals series

Semi-finals

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 6.6 (42) St Kilda 10.12 (72) MCG 51,411 9 September Melbourne 15.14 (104) Collingwood 12.18 (90) MCG 54,776 16 September

Preliminary final

Home team Score Away team Score Venue Crowd Date Collingwood 20.14 (134) St Kilda 15.15 (105) MCG 66,848 23 September

Grand final

Main article: 1939 VFL Grand Final

Season notes

Awards

References

  1. ^ "Throw-pass attacked". Camperdown Chronicle. Camperdown, VIC. 5 November 1938. p. 4.
  2. ^ "Saints may wear South's guernseys". The Herald. Melbourne, VIC. 4 September 1939. p. 18.
  3. ^ "Uniforms unchanged". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 7 September 1939. p. 18.
  4. ^ "Melbourne wins". The Argus. Melbourne. 29 September 1939. p. 15.

Sources