1951 VFL Premiership season
Teams12
PremiersGeelong
(4th premiership)
Minor premiersGeelong
(6th minor premiership)
Matches played112
Highest attendance85,795
Leading Goalkicker MedallistJohn Coleman (Essendon)
Brownlow MedallistBernie Smith (Geelong)
← 1950
1952 →

The 1951 VFL season was the 55th season of the Victorian Football League (VFL), the highest level senior Australian rules football competition in Victoria. The season featured twelve clubs, ran from 21 April until 29 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 Geelong Football Club for the fourth time, after it defeated Essendon by eleven points in the 1951 VFL Grand Final.

Premiership season

In 1951, the VFL competition consisted of twelve teams of 18 on-the-field players each, plus two substitute players, known as the 19th man and the 20th 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 1951 VFL Premiers were determined by the specific format and conventions of the Page–McIntyre system.

Round 1

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 13.17 (95) South Melbourne 6.5 (41) Kardinia Park 22,000 21 April 1951 Essendon 13.8 (86) Melbourne 10.16 (76) Windy Hill 24,000 21 April 1951 Collingwood 20.21 (141) North Melbourne 7.6 (48) Victoria Park 23,000 21 April 1951 Carlton 13.9 (87) Hawthorn 7.15 (57) Princes Park 13,000 21 April 1951 Richmond 15.9 (99) Footscray 15.10 (100) Punt Road Oval 22,000 21 April 1951 St Kilda 10.18 (78) Fitzroy 16.12 (108) Junction Oval 27,000 21 April 1951

Round 2

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 8.14 (62) St Kilda 12.9 (81) Arden Street Oval 13,000 28 April 1951 Fitzroy 12.11 (83) Geelong 10.7 (67) Brunswick Street Oval 18,000 28 April 1951 South Melbourne 5.7 (37) Richmond 14.13 (97) Lake Oval 18,000 28 April 1951 Hawthorn 9.7 (61) Essendon 12.14 (86) Glenferrie Oval 12,000 28 April 1951 Melbourne 7.15 (57) Collingwood 15.16 (106) MCG 37,000 28 April 1951 Footscray 5.11 (41) Carlton 4.16 (40) Western Oval 26,000 28 April 1951

Round 3

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 12.15 (87) St Kilda 9.10 (64) Glenferrie Oval 10,000 5 May 1951 Footscray 10.9 (69) North Melbourne 5.13 (43) Western Oval 20,000 5 May 1951 Collingwood 14.18 (102) Geelong 7.8 (50) Victoria Park 24,500 5 May 1951 Carlton 12.12 (84) Richmond 16.12 (108) Princes Park 28,000 5 May 1951 Melbourne 8.12 (60) Fitzroy 12.12 (84) MCG 21,500 5 May 1951 South Melbourne 14.20 (104) Essendon 14.7 (91) Lake Oval 14,000 5 May 1951

Round 4

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 12.6 (78) South Melbourne 9.19 (73) Arden Street Oval 15,000 12 May 1951 Fitzroy 10.10 (70) Footscray 6.16 (52) Brunswick Street Oval 20,500 12 May 1951 St Kilda 15.8 (98) Melbourne 14.7 (91) Junction Oval 15,000 12 May 1951 Richmond 17.18 (120) Hawthorn 7.14 (56) Punt Road Oval 15,000 12 May 1951 Essendon 12.11 (83) Collingwood 5.14 (44) Windy Hill 35,000 12 May 1951 Geelong 14.7 (91) Carlton 9.13 (67) Kardinia Park 20,500 12 May 1951

Round 5

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 7.18 (60) North Melbourne 14.14 (98) Glenferrie Oval 9,000 19 May 1951 Footscray 11.15 (81) St Kilda 7.11 (53) Western Oval 18,000 19 May 1951 Carlton 19.15 (129) Fitzroy 10.12 (72) Princes Park 24,500 19 May 1951 South Melbourne 15.6 (96) Melbourne 11.12 (78) Lake Oval 16,000 19 May 1951 Geelong 14.12 (96) Essendon 10.8 (68) Kardinia Park 24,500 19 May 1951 Richmond 16.20 (116) Collingwood 9.11 (65) Punt Road Oval 38,000 19 May 1951

Round 6

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Collingwood 13.15 (93) South Melbourne 6.10 (46) Victoria Park 19,000 2 June 1951 St Kilda 18.9 (117) Richmond 19.12 (126) Junction Oval 20,000 2 June 1951 North Melbourne 11.8 (74) Geelong 12.16 (88) Arden Street Oval 15,000 2 June 1951 Hawthorn 9.16 (70) Footscray 7.17 (59) Glenferrie Oval 10,000 2 June 1951 Fitzroy 14.7 (91) Essendon 9.14 (68) Brunswick Street Oval 24,000 2 June 1951 Melbourne 11.12 (78) Carlton 8.10 (58) MCG 30,000 2 June 1951

Round 7

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 20.13 (133) Hawthorn 8.15 (63) Kardinia Park 20,000 9 June 1951 Collingwood 13.19 (97) St Kilda 11.12 (78) Victoria Park 20,000 9 June 1951 Essendon 11.9 (75) Carlton 13.12 (90) Windy Hill 30,000 9 June 1951 Melbourne 9.13 (67) Richmond 12.9 (81) MCG 51,000 11 June 1951 Fitzroy 6.15 (51) North Melbourne 12.12 (84) Brunswick Street Oval 17,000 11 June 1951 South Melbourne 17.14 (116) Footscray 9.15 (69) Lake Oval 17,000 11 June 1951

Round 8

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 9.5 (59) Geelong 11.11 (77) Western Oval 19,500 16 June 1951 Essendon 15.13 (103) St Kilda 12.7 (79) Windy Hill 15,000 16 June 1951 Carlton 7.11 (53) Collingwood 9.13 (67) Princes Park 31,000 16 June 1951 North Melbourne 14.9 (93) Melbourne 6.12 (48) Arden Street Oval 13,000 16 June 1951 South Melbourne 12.14 (86) Hawthorn 7.11 (53) Lake Oval 8,500 16 June 1951 Richmond 9.12 (66) Fitzroy 12.16 (88) Punt Road Oval 26,000 16 June 1951

Round 9

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 10.14 (74) Richmond 8.8 (56) Kardinia Park 32,000 23 June 1951 Fitzroy 12.13 (85) South Melbourne 12.13 (85) Brunswick Street Oval 18,000 23 June 1951 Melbourne 5.19 (49) Footscray 23.14 (152) MCG 18,500 23 June 1951 North Melbourne 8.11 (59) Essendon 13.13 (91) Arden Street Oval 24,000 23 June 1951 Hawthorn 8.9 (57) Collingwood 13.7 (85) Glenferrie Oval 12,000 23 June 1951 St Kilda 9.11 (65) Carlton 15.15 (105) Junction Oval 17,000 23 June 1951

Round 10

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date St Kilda 7.7 (49) South Melbourne 13.15 (93) Junction Oval 21,000 30 June 1951 Collingwood 10.12 (72) Footscray 12.5 (77) Victoria Park 25,000 30 June 1951 Carlton 14.20 (104) North Melbourne 5.10 (40) Princes Park 22,000 30 June 1951 Fitzroy 10.14 (74) Hawthorn 11.9 (75) Brunswick Street Oval 8,500 7 July 1951 Essendon 10.14 (74) Richmond 10.10 (70) Windy Hill 30,000 7 July 1951 Melbourne 7.7 (49) Geelong 12.12 (84) MCG 22,500 7 July 1951

Round 11

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 18.12 (120) Melbourne 13.8 (86) Glenferrie Oval 10,000 14 July 1951 Geelong 12.23 (95) St Kilda 10.7 (67) Kardinia Park 13,500 14 July 1951 Collingwood 15.13 (103) Fitzroy 21.9 (135) Victoria Park 22,000 14 July 1951 Richmond 11.13 (79) North Melbourne 11.16 (82) Punt Road Oval 15,000 14 July 1951 Footscray 7.14 (56) Essendon 9.10 (64) Western Oval 27,000 14 July 1951 South Melbourne 7.9 (51) Carlton 7.14 (56) Lake Oval 25,000 14 July 1951

Round 12

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 9.17 (71) Richmond 6.9 (45) Western Oval 20,000 21 July 1951 Fitzroy 11.10 (76) St Kilda 4.16 (40) Brunswick Street Oval 8,000 21 July 1951 South Melbourne 9.8 (62) Geelong 18.11 (119) Lake Oval 18,000 21 July 1951 Melbourne 8.6 (54) Essendon 10.14 (74) MCG 16,000 21 July 1951 North Melbourne 6.12 (48) Collingwood 8.8 (56) Arden Street Oval 14,000 21 July 1951 Hawthorn 5.8 (38) Carlton 7.13 (55) Glenferrie Oval 14,000 21 July 1951

Round 13

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 8.8 (56) South Melbourne 13.17 (95) Punt Road Oval 19,000 28 July 1951 Essendon 16.18 (114) Hawthorn 8.11 (59) Windy Hill 13,000 28 July 1951 Collingwood 18.21 (129) Melbourne 12.10 (82) Victoria Park 14,000 28 July 1951 Carlton 8.14 (62) Footscray 9.11 (65) Princes Park 34,000 28 July 1951 St Kilda 13.20 (98) North Melbourne 10.10 (70) Junction Oval 10,000 28 July 1951 Geelong 11.10 (76) Fitzroy 4.5 (29) Kardinia Park 25,500 28 July 1951

Round 14

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Fitzroy 8.21 (69) Melbourne 6.9 (45) Brunswick Street Oval 9,000 4 August 1951 Essendon 16.10 (106) South Melbourne 8.12 (60) Windy Hill 20,000 4 August 1951 St Kilda 11.8 (74) Hawthorn 9.14 (68) Junction Oval 6,000 4 August 1951 North Melbourne 10.10 (70) Footscray 11.15 (81) Arden Street Oval 14,000 4 August 1951 Geelong 3.11 (29) Collingwood 4.7 (31) Kardinia Park 26,500 4 August 1951 Richmond 9.12 (66) Carlton 4.9 (33) Punt Road Oval 17,000 4 August 1951

Round 15

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 6.12 (48) St Kilda 9.6 (60) MCG 10,000 11 August 1951 Hawthorn 6.15 (51) Richmond 10.13 (73) Glenferrie Oval 11,000 11 August 1951 Collingwood 12.9 (81) Essendon 5.7 (37) Victoria Park 30,500 11 August 1951 Carlton 7.19 (61) Geelong 12.11 (83) Princes Park 17,500 11 August 1951 South Melbourne 14.16 (100) North Melbourne 15.9 (99) Lake Oval 10,000 11 August 1951 Footscray 4.6 (30) Fitzroy 8.9 (57) Western Oval 22,000 11 August 1951

Round 16

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 15.16 (106) South Melbourne 18.17 (125) MCG 12,000 18 August 1951 Essendon 18.15 (123) Geelong 8.17 (65) Windy Hill 26,000 18 August 1951 Collingwood 9.12 (66) Richmond 6.8 (44) Victoria Park 25,500 18 August 1951 North Melbourne 10.11 (71) Hawthorn 8.11 (59) Arden Street Oval 6,000 18 August 1951 St Kilda 9.12 (66) Footscray 11.15 (81) Junction Oval 14,000 18 August 1951 Fitzroy 13.9 (87) Carlton 13.9 (87) Brunswick Street Oval 17,500 18 August 1951

Round 17

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 18.17 (125) St Kilda 10.12 (72) Punt Road Oval 14,000 25 August 1951 Geelong 13.15 (93) North Melbourne 3.6 (24) Kardinia Park 18,000 25 August 1951 Footscray 11.14 (80) Hawthorn 9.10 (64) Western Oval 14,000 25 August 1951 Essendon 11.13 (79) Fitzroy 7.11 (53) Windy Hill 30,000 25 August 1951 Carlton 15.16 (106) Melbourne 8.13 (61) Princes Park 11,000 25 August 1951 South Melbourne 12.9 (81) Collingwood 12.10 (82) Lake Oval 21,000 25 August 1951

Round 18

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 13.15 (93) South Melbourne 6.12 (48) Western Oval 24,500 1 September 1951 Carlton 9.10 (64) Essendon 16.12 (108) Princes Park 27,000 1 September 1951 Richmond 18.16 (124) Melbourne 14.11 (95) Punt Road Oval 10,000 1 September 1951 Hawthorn 5.8 (38) Geelong 10.10 (70) Glenferrie Oval 10,000 1 September 1951 North Melbourne 11.15 (81) Fitzroy 8.13 (61) Arden Street Oval 12,000 1 September 1951 St Kilda 9.18 (72) Collingwood 10.19 (79) Junction Oval 16,500 1 September 1951

Ladder

1951 VFL ladder
Pos Team Pld W L D PF PA PP Pts
1 Geelong (P) 18 14 4 0 1485 1097 135.4 56 Finals
2 Collingwood 18 14 4 0 1499 1193 125.6 56
3 Essendon 18 13 5 0 1530 1262 121.2 52
4 Footscray 18 12 6 0 1316 1165 113.0 48
5 Fitzroy 18 10 6 2 1373 1305 105.2 44
6 Richmond 18 10 8 0 1551 1327 116.9 40
7 Carlton 18 8 9 1 1341 1253 107.0 34
8 South Melbourne 18 8 9 1 1399 1505 93.0 34
9 North Melbourne 18 7 11 0 1224 1433 85.4 28
10 St Kilda 18 5 13 0 1311 1595 82.2 20
11 Hawthorn 18 4 14 0 1136 1515 75.0 16
12 Melbourne 18 1 17 0 1230 1745 70.5 4
Source: VFL ladder
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) percentage; 3) number of points for.
(P) Premiers

Finals

First Semi-Final

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Essendon 3.2 4.4 6.7 8.13 (61)
Footscray 6.1 7.1 7.5 8.5 (53)
Attendance: 66,135

Second Semi-Final

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Geelong 2.3 10.6 13.14 22.20 (152)
Collingwood 6.3 7.5 9.7 10.10 (70)
Attendance: 74,085

Preliminary Final

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Collingwood 1.2 7.4 9.7 10.8 (68)
Essendon 1.2 3.3 5.7 10.10 (70)
Attendance: 73,539

Grand final

Main article: 1951 VFL Grand Final

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Geelong 3.8 4.10 9.13 11.15 (81)
Essendon 1.0 6.2 6.4 10.10 (70)
Attendance: 85,795

Awards

Notable events

References