Team 1 2 3 Final
Essendon 2.4 3.11 5.15 14.21 (105)
Hawthorn 6.1 8.6 10.8 12.9 (81)

The 1984 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Essendon Football Club and Hawthorn Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 29 September 1984. It was the the 88th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1984 VFL season. The match, attended by 92,685 spectators, was won by Essendon by a margin of 24 points.


It was a Grand Final rematch of the previous season's decider where Hawthorn defeated Essendon by a record 83 points. On this occasion Essendon were victors to give them their first premiership since 1965.

Essendon had come into the Grand Final having finished top of the ladder after the home and away rounds and on the back of a 28 goal performance in the Preliminary Final against Collingwood.

Match summary

Hawthorn dominated the game early and kicked the first four goals. Baker got one back for Essendon but Hawthorn continue to apply scoreboard pressure and 11 minutes into the second quarter they extend their lead to 33 points. Essendon, despite getting more possession, made little impact in front of goals but a goal, Essendon;s second for the match, to Billy Duckworth put them within 25 points at the half time break.

The third quarter was a low scoring affair, more notable for the changes to file positions that Essendon coach, Kevin Sheedy made in an attempt to stem the flow of Hawthorn goals. While common today, at the time, it was very unusual for a coach to make such radical changes such as shifting backline players to the forward line and vise-cersa. Essendon managed to get within three goals of the lead but Dermott Brereton kicked a late one for Hawthorn to give them a 23 point lead going into the final term.

Baker goaled for Essendon in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter giving Essendon the early momentum, and minutes later Peter Bradbury kicked a goal from the back of a pack. Essendon's charge continued when the ball made its way to Duckworth at half forward who passed the ball to an unmanned Mark Thompson who puts it through, 40 metres out and directly in front. The Bombers won the ball from the following centre bounce and Darren Williams kicked towards right half forward flank where it bounced favourably for Baker who evaded Hawks defender David O'Halloran to goal and give Essendon the lead nine minutes into the quarter.

Hawthorn were back in front when Peter Curran goaled from a 15 metre penalty but Essendon soon regained their advantage when Roger Merrett takes an uncontested mark in the goal square and makes no mistake.

Paul Weston extended Essendon's lead to 11 points minutes later and then Tim Watson goaled twice to seal the comeback win for Essendon. As of 2008, it is the last time that a team trailing at three quarter time has won the Grand Final.

10 players from this game went on to become senior coaches.


B: Garry Foulds Billy Duckworth Paul Weston
HB: Peter Bradbury Kevin Walsh Glenn Hawker
C: Merv Neagle Leon Baker Shane Heard
HF: Tim Watson Terry Daniher (c) Paul Van Der Haar
F: Alan Ezard Simon Madden Frank Dunell
Foll: Roger Merrett Neil Clarke Darren Williams
Int: Mark Harvey Mark Thompson
Coach: Kevin Sheedy
B: Gary Ayres David O'Halloran Colin Robertson
HB: Rod Lester-Smith Chris Mew Peter Schwab
C: Robert DiPierdomenico Terry Wallace Peter Russo
HF: Ken Judge Dermott Brereton Peter Curran
F: Michael McCarthy Leigh Matthews (c) Richard Loveridge
Foll: Michael Byrne Michael Tuck Russell Greene
Int: Ian Paton Rodney Eade
Coach: Allan Jeans




  • Baker 4
  • Duckworth 2
  • Watson 2
  • Bradbury 1
  • Daniher 1
  • Merrett 1
  • Neagle 1
  • Thompson 1
  • Weston 1


  • Matthews 4
  • Brereton 2
  • Robertson 2
  • Curran 1
  • Judge 1
  • Loveridge 1
  • Tuck 1


Norm Smith Medal

The Norm Smith Medal was awarded to Billy Duckworth who became the first ever Essendon player to win the medal.


See also