1954 VFL Premiership season
Footscray team 1954.jpg
Footscray team, premiers
Teams12
PremiersFootscray
(1st premiership)
Minor premiersGeelong
(9th minor premiership)
Matches played112
Highest attendance80,897
Leading Goalkicker MedallistJack Collins (Footscray)
Brownlow MedallistRoy Wright (Richmond)
← 1953
1955 →

The 1954 VFL season was the 58th season of the Victorian Football League (VFL), the highest level senior Australian rules football competition in Victoria. The season featured twelve clubs, ran from 17 April until 25 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 Footscray Football Club for the first time, after it defeated Melbourne by 51 points in the 1954 VFL Grand Final.

Premiership season

In 1954, 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 1954 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 Footscray 7.11 (53) St Kilda 9.10 (64) Western Oval 24,000 17 April 1954 Fitzroy 7.16 (58) Geelong 19.16 (130) Brunswick Street Oval 27,000 17 April 1954 South Melbourne 11.18 (84) Carlton 11.13 (79) Lake Oval 38,000 17 April 1954 North Melbourne 15.11 (101) Richmond 13.14 (92) Arden Street Oval 24,000 19 April 1954 Hawthorn 8.13 (61) Essendon 14.11 (95) Glenferrie Oval 23,000 19 April 1954 Melbourne 9.10 (64) Collingwood 15.12 (102) MCG 45,848 19 April 1954

Round 2

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 8.12 (60) North Melbourne 9.15 (69) Kardinia Park 21,000 24 April 1954 Essendon 5.18 (48) South Melbourne 8.13 (61) Windy Hill 23,000 24 April 1954 Collingwood 12.12 (84) Fitzroy 5.8 (38) Victoria Park 25,000 24 April 1954 Carlton 12.10 (82) Melbourne 15.11 (101) Princes Park 21,000 24 April 1954 St Kilda 5.9 (39) Hawthorn 10.10 (70) Junction Oval 14,000 24 April 1954 Richmond 12.19 (91) Footscray 9.19 (73) Punt Road Oval 23,000 24 April 1954

Round 3

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 11.9 (75) Melbourne 9.10 (64) Glenferrie Oval 17,000 1 May 1954 Footscray 17.14 (116) South Melbourne 3.11 (29) Western Oval 24,500 1 May 1954 Fitzroy 9.10 (64) North Melbourne 13.16 (94) Brunswick Street Oval 16,000 1 May 1954 Essendon 15.10 (100) Geelong 16.20 (116) Windy Hill 27,500 1 May 1954 St Kilda 10.10 (70) Collingwood 10.16 (76) Junction Oval 22,500 1 May 1954 Richmond 14.20 (104) Carlton 12.8 (80) Punt Road Oval 25,000 1 May 1954

Round 4

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 13.17 (95) St Kilda 8.5 (53) Kardinia Park 18,000 8 May 1954 Collingwood 10.17 (77) Essendon 9.10 (64) Victoria Park 37,000 8 May 1954 Carlton 17.21 (123) Footscray 20.14 (134) Princes Park 22,000 8 May 1954 South Melbourne 12.9 (81) Richmond 10.16 (76) Lake Oval 23,000 8 May 1954 North Melbourne 11.10 (76) Hawthorn 10.13 (73) Arden Street Oval 16,000 8 May 1954 Melbourne 14.12 (96) Fitzroy 7.12 (54) MCG 17,500 8 May 1954

Round 5

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 14.13 (97) Richmond 10.7 (67) MCG 24,247 15 May 1954 Footscray 11.7 (73) North Melbourne 5.5 (35) Western Oval 25,500 15 May 1954 Fitzroy 10.16 (76) St Kilda 11.10 (76) Brunswick Street Oval 12,000 15 May 1954 Hawthorn 14.13 (97) Geelong 13.14 (92) Glenferrie Oval 18,000 15 May 1954 South Melbourne 6.13 (49) Collingwood 14.17 (101) Lake Oval 30,000 15 May 1954 Essendon 8.18 (66) Carlton 9.15 (69) Windy Hill 25,000 15 May 1954

Round 6

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 8.14 (62) South Melbourne 12.13 (85) Arden Street Oval 15,000 22 May 1954 St Kilda 14.15 (99) Melbourne 12.6 (78) Junction Oval 16,000 22 May 1954 Richmond 10.12 (72) Hawthorn 11.12 (78) Punt Road Oval 23,000 22 May 1954 Footscray 12.8 (80) Essendon 4.7 (31) Western Oval 30,000 22 May 1954 Geelong 13.17 (95) Collingwood 9.8 (62) Kardinia Park 32,500 22 May 1954 Fitzroy 8.10 (58) Carlton 15.10 (100) Brunswick Street Oval 20,000 22 May 1954

Round 7

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 15.21 (111) South Melbourne 14.5 (89) MCG 23,025 29 May 1954 Essendon 22.13 (145) Fitzroy 7.12 (54) Windy Hill 17,500 29 May 1954 Collingwood 11.8 (74) Richmond 14.13 (97) Victoria Park 34,000 29 May 1954 Carlton 12.20 (92) Geelong 11.16 (82) Princes Park 31,000 29 May 1954 St Kilda 10.12 (72) North Melbourne 9.24 (78) Junction Oval 20,500 29 May 1954 Hawthorn 10.9 (69) Footscray 11.12 (78) Glenferrie Oval 26,000 29 May 1954

Round 8

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 17.13 (115) St Kilda 10.6 (66) Punt Road Oval 17,000 5 June 1954 Geelong 11.5 (71) Melbourne 10.20 (80) Kardinia Park 17,000 5 June 1954 Essendon 14.14 (98) North Melbourne 10.15 (75) Windy Hill 23,000 5 June 1954 South Melbourne 6.13 (49) Hawthorn 8.10 (58) Lake Oval 22,000 5 June 1954 Footscray 13.9 (87) Fitzroy 10.14 (74) Western Oval 21,000 5 June 1954 Collingwood 11.15 (81) Carlton 10.12 (72) Victoria Park 40,000 5 June 1954

Round 9

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date St Kilda 2.18 (30) South Melbourne 13.18 (96) Junction Oval 21,500 12 June 1954 Fitzroy 6.17 (53) Richmond 11.13 (79) Brunswick Street Oval 19,000 12 June 1954 North Melbourne 13.13 (91) Collingwood 10.12 (72) Arden Street Oval 30,000 12 June 1954 Carlton 5.11 (41) Hawthorn 4.12 (36) Princes Park 34,000 14 June 1954 Geelong 9.13 (67) Footscray 8.15 (63) Kardinia Park 33,400 14 June 1954 Melbourne 11.13 (79) Essendon 14.17 (101) MCG 36,800 14 June 1954

Round 10

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Footscray 10.13 (73) Melbourne 8.9 (57) Western Oval 24,000 26 June 1954 Fitzroy 11.10 (76) South Melbourne 10.14 (74) Brunswick Street Oval 14,000 26 June 1954 Richmond 18.12 (120) Geelong 13.17 (95) Punt Road Oval 30,000 26 June 1954 St Kilda 9.12 (66) Essendon 10.19 (79) Junction Oval 20,000 26 June 1954 Hawthorn 11.5 (71) Collingwood 10.15 (75) Glenferrie Oval 25,000 26 June 1954 North Melbourne 9.13 (67) Carlton 9.10 (64) Arden Street Oval 25,000 26 June 1954

Round 11

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 15.15 (105) North Melbourne 11.6 (72) MCG 18,180 3 July 1954 Essendon 13.9 (87) Richmond 13.6 (84) Windy Hill 28,000 3 July 1954 Collingwood 12.10 (82) Footscray 10.12 (72) Victoria Park 40,000 3 July 1954 Carlton 9.16 (70) St Kilda 12.10 (82) Princes Park 15,000 3 July 1954 South Melbourne 9.10 (64) Geelong 17.12 (114) Lake Oval 18,000 3 July 1954 Hawthorn 11.15 (81) Fitzroy 11.10 (76) Glenferrie Oval 12,000 3 July 1954

Round 12

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Essendon 13.16 (94) Hawthorn 9.9 (63) Windy Hill 20,000 10 July 1954 Collingwood 8.6 (54) Melbourne 5.16 (46) Victoria Park 29,000 10 July 1954 Carlton 11.10 (76) South Melbourne 10.10 (70) Princes Park 17,000 10 July 1954 Richmond 14.14 (98) North Melbourne 6.15 (51) Punt Road Oval 27,000 10 July 1954 St Kilda 9.8 (62) Footscray 13.14 (92) Junction Oval 22,500 10 July 1954 Geelong 10.8 (68) Fitzroy 6.6 (42) Kardinia Park 15,000 10 July 1954

Round 13

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 14.17 (101) St Kilda 5.10 (40) Glenferrie Oval 11,000 17 July 1954 North Melbourne 5.13 (43) Geelong 10.2 (62) Arden Street Oval 20,000 17 July 1954 Melbourne 10.16 (76) Carlton 6.5 (41) MCG 29,406 17 July 1954 Footscray 6.9 (45) Richmond 6.13 (49) Western Oval 30,250 24 July 1954 South Melbourne 8.18 (66) Essendon 13.8 (86) Lake Oval 23,000 24 July 1954 Fitzroy 12.9 (81) Collingwood 6.13 (49) Brunswick Street Oval 20,000 24 July 1954

Round 14

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Collingwood 12.13 (85) St Kilda 7.15 (57) Victoria Park 16,500 31 July 1954 Carlton 9.11 (65) Richmond 6.10 (46) Princes Park 25,863 31 July 1954 Melbourne 16.14 (110) Hawthorn 5.3 (33) MCG 26,708 31 July 1954 South Melbourne 6.5 (41) Footscray 11.12 (78) Lake Oval 19,500 31 July 1954 North Melbourne 8.19 (67) Fitzroy 8.6 (54) Arden Street Oval 11,000 31 July 1954 Geelong 16.14 (110) Essendon 11.10 (76) Kardinia Park 28,158 31 July 1954

Round 15

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 12.15 (87) South Melbourne 6.16 (52) Punt Road Oval 12,000 7 August 1954 Hawthorn 9.5 (59) North Melbourne 10.22 (82) Glenferrie Oval 7,000 7 August 1954 Fitzroy 8.11 (59) Melbourne 6.12 (48) Brunswick Street Oval 10,000 7 August 1954 St Kilda 7.17 (59) Geelong 18.13 (121) Junction Oval 12,000 7 August 1954 Essendon 10.11 (71) Collingwood 6.16 (52) Windy Hill 23,000 7 August 1954 Footscray 6.7 (43) Carlton 8.12 (60) Western Oval 22,000 7 August 1954

Round 16

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 13.12 (90) Hawthorn 7.6 (48) Kardinia Park 16,870 14 August 1954 Collingwood 12.16 (88) South Melbourne 13.12 (90) Victoria Park 18,556 14 August 1954 Carlton 10.16 (76) Essendon 11.14 (80) Princes Park 29,744 14 August 1954 Richmond 10.18 (78) Melbourne 15.4 (94) Punt Road Oval 24,000 14 August 1954 North Melbourne 9.14 (68) Footscray 9.14 (68) Arden Street Oval 22,000 14 August 1954 St Kilda 13.14 (92) Fitzroy 9.15 (69) Junction Oval 11,500 14 August 1954

Round 17

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 14.13 (97) St Kilda 5.10 (40) MCG 16,700 21 August 1954 Hawthorn 10.10 (70) Richmond 6.11 (47) Glenferrie Oval 14,000 21 August 1954 Essendon 7.17 (59) Footscray 11.12 (78) Windy Hill 36,000 21 August 1954 Collingwood 6.14 (50) Geelong 10.12 (72) Victoria Park 36,000 21 August 1954 Carlton 22.11 (143) Fitzroy 14.7 (91) Princes Park 12,100 21 August 1954 South Melbourne 11.14 (80) North Melbourne 14.11 (95) Lake Oval 15,000 21 August 1954

Round 18

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 19.15 (129) St Kilda 12.10 (82) Arden Street Oval 9,500 28 August 1954 Footscray 17.15 (117) Hawthorn 5.4 (34) Western Oval 22,896 28 August 1954 South Melbourne 7.7 (49) Melbourne 14.17 (101) Lake Oval 25,000 28 August 1954 Fitzroy 14.13 (97) Essendon 13.13 (91) Brunswick Street Oval 20,000 28 August 1954 Richmond 14.17 (101) Collingwood 6.12 (48) Punt Road Oval 25,000 28 August 1954 Geelong 13.12 (90) Carlton 6.13 (49) Kardinia Park 23,119 28 August 1954

Ladder

1954 VFL ladder
Pos Team Pld W L D PF PA PP Pts
1 Geelong 18 13 5 0 1630 1225 133.1 52 Finals Series
2 Footscray (P) 18 11 6 1 1423 1095 130.0 46
3 North Melbourne 18 11 6 1 1355 1361 99.6 46
4 Melbourne 18 11 7 0 1504 1239 121.4 44
5 Richmond 18 10 8 0 1503 1310 114.7 40
6 Essendon 18 10 8 0 1471 1364 107.8 40
7 Collingwood 18 10 8 0 1312 1301 100.8 40
8 Carlton 18 8 10 0 1382 1391 99.4 32
9 Hawthorn 18 8 10 0 1177 1337 88.0 32
10 South Melbourne 18 6 12 0 1209 1482 81.6 24
11 Fitzroy 18 4 13 1 1174 1604 73.2 18
12 St Kilda 18 4 13 1 1149 1580 72.7 18
Source: VFL ladder
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) percentage; 3) number of points for.
(P) Premiers

Finals Series

Semi Finals

First Semi-Final
Saturday, 4 September 2:30pm North Melbourne def. by Melbourne MCG (crowd: 42,166)
3.4 (22)
5.7 (37)
7.12 (54)
 11.14 (80)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
1.4 (10)
4.7 (31)
9.11 (65)
 16.14 (110)
Umpires: Barbour
Templar 5
Aylett 3
Brooker, Grambeau, Spencer 1
Goals 6 Clarke
3 Albiston, Case
1 Barassi, Collins, Johnson, McKenzie
Brady, Marchesi, Lawrence, Templar, Brooker Best McGivern, Clarke, Case, Williams, Marquis, Beckwith, Arnold, Barassi


Second Semi-Final
Saturday, 11 September 2:30pm Geelong def. by Footscray MCG (crowd: 64,686)
4.5 (29)
4.8 (32)
7.10 (52)
 8.14 (63)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
3.1 (19)
7.7 (49)
7.10 (52)
 11.19 (85)
Umpires: Robinson
Goninon 2
Sharp, Flanagan, Palmer, Trezise, Davis, McMahon 1
Goals 4 Collins
2 Kerr, Stevens
1 Duffy, Edwards, Gilmore
Hovey, Williams, Smith, Davis, Pianto Best Stevens, Whitten, Box, Kerr, Ross

Preliminary Final

Preliminary Final
Saturday, 18 September 2:30pm Geelong def. by Melbourne MCG (crowd: 51,985)
2.3 (15)
4.3 (27)
5.6 (36)
 7.8 (50)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
1.1 (7)
3.3 (21)
7.5 (47)
 10.7 (67)
Umpires: Jamieson
Wiltshire 2
Pianto, Goninon, Davis, Turner, Trezise 1
Goals 3 Clarke, Albiston
1 Barassi, Laidlaw, Johnson, Spencer
Pianto, Smith, Middlemiss, Williams, Turner, Sharp Best Cordner, Melville, Case, Williams, McLean, Albiston
Williams (cramp) Injuries

Grand Final

Main article: 1954 VFL Grand Final

This was Footscray's maiden Grand Final appearance, while Melbourne were in their 9th Grand Final chasing their 7th VFL premiership. With most of the crowd behind them, Footscray got off to a big start, kicking six goals to one in the first quarter to eventually run out 51-point winners, doubling Melbourne's score. Melbourne would go on to win five of the next six Grand Finals.

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Footscray 6.3 8.5 12.9 15.12 (102)
Melbourne 1.4 4.6 6.7 7.9 (51)

Awards

Notable events

See also

References

  1. ^ Fiddian, Marc (1994). Boilovers, Thrillers and Grand Eras in League and Association Football. Pakenham, Victoria: Pakenham Gazette. p. 7. ISBN 1875475087.