1961 VFL Grand Final

Hawthorn

Footscray
13.16 (94) 7.9 (51)
1 2 3 4
HAW 2.4 (16) 3.9 (27) 9.15 (69) 13.16 (94)
FOO 4.2 (26) 5.5 (35) 6.6 (42) 7.9 (51)
Date23 September 1961
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
Attendance107,935
FavouriteHawthorn
← 1960 VFL Grand Final 1962 →

The 1961 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Footscray Football Club and Hawthorn Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 23 September 1961. It was the 64th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1961 VFL season. The match, attended by 107,935 spectators, was won by Hawthorn by a margin of 43 points, marking that club's first premiership victory.

Hawthorn, which was competing in its first VFL grand final since entering the competition in 1925, came into the game as minor premiers, favourites, and on a then-club record 11-game winning streak.[1] Footscray, who also entered the competition in 1925 and was in its second grand final (the first coming when it won the 1954 premiership), had finished the home and away season in fourth place, and qualified after upsetting the Ron Barassi-led Melbourne by 27 points in the preliminary final. It ended Melbourne's record sequence of seven consecutive grand final appearances, and was the first grand final not to feature any of the VFL's eight foundation clubs.

It was a young Footscray side, with only two players coming into the game with more than 80 VFL games experience them, although one of them was veteran Ted Whitten. Hawthorn's Brendan Edwards was playing in his 100th VFL game and dominated in the centre. Despite trailing at half time, Hawthorn won comfortably in the end after kicking six goals to one in a dominant third quarter.

The 1961 grand final is the earliest VFL grand final whose complete television footage has survived and been made available on DVD.

Teams

Hawthorn
Footscray
Hawthorn
B: 29 Reg Poole 1 Les Kaine 10 Graham Cooper
HB: 20 Sted Hay 28 John McArthur 26 Cam McPherson
C: 30 Colin Youren 9 Brendan Edwards 5 John Fisher
HF: 14 Ian Mort 31 Garry Young 4 Morton Browne
F: 11 Malcolm Hill 23 John Peck 19 Jack Cunningham
Foll: 12 John Winneke 2 Graham Arthur (c) 7 Ian Law
Res: 22 Phil Hay 3 Ron Nalder
Coach: John Kennedy Sr.
Footscray
B: 28 Charlie Evans 29 Bernie Lee 4 Bob Ware
HB: 25 John Jillard 23 John Hoiles 38 Barry Ion
C: 12 Alex Gardiner 8 Bob Spargo 37 Ian Bryant
HF: 15 John Quarrell 17 Graham Ion 30 Barney McKellar
F: 3 Ted Whitten (c) 24 Jack Slattery 6 Keith Beamish
Foll: 14 John Schultz 9 Cameron McDonald 2 Merv Hobbs
Res: 16 Ken Duff 5 Charlie Stewart
Coach: Ted Whitten

Umpire: Frank Schwab

Scoreboard[edit]

Team 1 2 3 Final
Hawthorn 2.4 3.9 9.15 13.16 (94)
Footscray 4.2 5.5 6.6 7.9 (51)

Statistics[edit]

Goal kickers[edit]

Hawthorn:

  • Browne 3
  • Law 2
  • Mort 2
  • Arthur 1
  • Cunningham 1
  • Edwards 1
  • Hill 1
  • Nalder 1
  • Peck 1

Footscray:

  • Whitten 3
  • Quarrell 2
  • Hobbs 1
  • McKellar 1

Attendance[edit]

  • MCG attendance – 107,935

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • 1961 Grand Final page on AFL Tables
  • The Official statistical history of the AFL 2004
  • Ross, J. (ed), 100 Years of Australian Football 1897–1996: The Complete Story of the AFL, All the Big Stories, All the Great Pictures, All the Champions, Every AFL Season Reported, Viking, (Ringwood), 1996. ISBN 0-670-86814-0
  1. ^ "Streaks - Hawthorn". AFL Tables. Retrieved 11 June 2023.