1985 VFL Premiership season
Teams12
PremiersEssendon
(14th premiership)
Minor premiersEssendon
(12th minor premiership)
Night seriesHawthorn
(2nd Night series win)
Matches played138
Attendance3,113,173 (22,559 per match)
Highest attendance100,042
Coleman MedallistSimon Beasley (Footscray)
Brownlow MedallistBrad Hardie (Footscray)
← 1984
1986 →

The 1985 VFL season was the 89th season of the Victorian Football League (VFL), the highest level senior Australian rules football competition in Victoria.

The season featured twelve clubs, ran from 23 March until 28 September, and comprised a 22-game home-and-away season followed by a finals series featuring the top five clubs. The season was the first to feature premiership matches on Friday nights.

The premiership was won by the Essendon Football Club for the 14th time and second time consecutively, after it defeated Hawthorn by 78 points in the 1985 VFL Grand Final.

Night series

Hawthorn defeated Essendon 11.11 (77) to 10.8 (68) in the final.

Premiership season

Round 1

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 15.13 (103) Collingwood 21.15 (141) MCG 65,628 29 March 1985 St Kilda 8.18 (66) Sydney 26.20 (176) Moorabbin Oval 20,910 30 March 1985 Essendon 21.11 (137) Richmond 18.12 (120) Windy Hill 22,802 30 March 1985 Carlton 17.10 (112) Footscray 22.10 (142) Princes Park 26,873 30 March 1985 Melbourne 20.8 (128) Fitzroy 14.18 (102) MCG 20,910 30 March 1985 Geelong 20.8 (128) Hawthorn 14.16 (100) VFL Park 20,776 30 March 1985

Round 2

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Richmond 12.16 (88) Sydney 13.14 (92) MCG 24,113 6 April 1985 Geelong 14.12 (96) Collingwood 18.11 (119) Kardinia Park 32,966 6 April 1985 St Kilda 2.17 (29) Carlton 25.19 (169) Moorabbin Oval 18,655 6 April 1985 Hawthorn 25.20 (170) Melbourne 14.18 (102) Princes Park 17,278 8 April 1985 Fitzroy 8.15 (63) Essendon 24.22 (166) Victoria Park 17,093 8 April 1985 Footscray 20.14 (134) North Melbourne 16.12 (108) VFL Park 24,056 8 April 1985

Round 3

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Essendon 17.12 (114) Hawthorn 15.10 (100) VFL Park 41,694 23 March 1985 Richmond 31.25 (211) St Kilda 14.14 (98) MCG 17,753 13 April 1985 Footscray 26.14 (170) Geelong 16.9 (105) Western Oval 23,259 13 April 1985 Collingwood 19.9 (123) Melbourne 16.17 (113) Victoria Park 22,896 13 April 1985 Carlton 22.13 (145) North Melbourne 22.15 (147) Princes Park 20,404 13 April 1985 Sydney 18.12 (120) Fitzroy 26.15 (171) SCG 10,204 14 April 1985

Round 4

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 16.15 (111) St Kilda 11.6 (72) MCG 12,895 20 April 1985 Fitzroy 12.14 (86) Richmond 15.13 (103) Victoria Park 11,056 20 April 1985 Carlton 24.17 (161) Geelong 13.11 (89) Princes Park 19,894 20 April 1985 Essendon 13.8 (86) Collingwood 12.10 (82) Windy Hill 26,550 20 April 1985 Melbourne 14.18 (102) Footscray 12.11 (83) VFL Park 20,797 20 April 1985 Sydney 5.14 (44) Hawthorn 8.15 (63) SCG 7,860 21 April 1985

Round 5

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 18.13 (121) Carlton 13.14 (92) MCG 53,067 25 April 1985 St Kilda 19.12 (126) Fitzroy 18.14 (122) VFL Park 20,480 25 April 1985 Hawthorn 21.23 (149) Richmond 29.14 (188) Princes Park 17,268 27 April 1985 Geelong 16.23 (119) North Melbourne 14.9 (93) Kardinia Park 16,492 27 April 1985 Collingwood 15.15 (105) Sydney 13.12 (90) Victoria Park 23,306 27 April 1985 Footscray 18.17 (125) Essendon 11.18 (84) Western Oval 33,677 27 April 1985

Round 6

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 20.11 (131) North Melbourne 20.12 (132) MCG 23,815 4 May 1985 Fitzroy 15.12 (102) Hawthorn 19.16 (130) Victoria Park 9,231 4 May 1985 St Kilda 16.12 (108) Geelong 15.21 (111) Moorabbin Oval 16,000 4 May 1985 Essendon 27.14 (176) Carlton 8.19 (67) Windy Hill 22,644 4 May 1985 Richmond 16.10 (106) Collingwood 13.10 (88) VFL Park 58,733 4 May 1985 Sydney 25.11 (161) Footscray 11.17 (83) SCG 9,537 5 May 1985

Round 7

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 28.15 (183) St Kilda 8.9 (57) Princes Park 8,762 11 May 1985 Geelong 12.13 (85) Melbourne 5.10 (40) Kardinia Park 15,000 11 May 1985 Collingwood 11.15 (81) Fitzroy 25.10 (160) Victoria Park 22,964 11 May 1985 Richmond 15.11 (101) Footscray 23.13 (151) MCG 36,250 11 May 1985 North Melbourne 22.20 (152) Essendon 14.9 (93) VFL Park 37,125 11 May 1985 Sydney 11.17 (83) Carlton 12.16 (88) SCG 12,507 12 May 1985

Round 8

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 11.8 (74) Sydney 6.10 (46) MCG 14,572 18 May 1985 Collingwood 8.9 (57) Hawthorn 6.10 (46) Victoria Park 20,731 18 May 1985 Carlton 11.18 (84) Richmond 9.13 (67) Princes Park 21,777 18 May 1985 Footscray 11.7 (73) Fitzroy 12.15 (87) Western Oval 16,952 18 May 1985 Geelong 8.11 (59) Essendon 10.15 (75) Kardinia Park 23,102 18 May 1985 Melbourne 16.10 (106) St Kilda 7.12 (54) VFL Park 16,282 18 May 1985

Round 9

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Essendon 23.15 (153) Melbourne 9.17 (71) Windy Hill 19,985 25 May 1985 Richmond 16.15 (111) North Melbourne 18.19 (127) MCG 31,347 25 May 1985 Hawthorn 17.24 (126) Footscray 16.11 (107) Princes Park 16,686 25 May 1985 St Kilda 20.17 (137) Collingwood 24.18 (162) Moorabbin Oval 22,348 25 May 1985 Carlton 18.16 (124) Fitzroy 19.9 (123) VFL Park 29,455 25 May 1985 Sydney 13.11 (89) Geelong 16.21 (117) SCG 12,577 26 May 1985

Round 10

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 15.19 (109) Sydney 14.8 (92) MCG 16,749 1 June 1985 Fitzroy 17.15 (117) North Melbourne 19.14 (128) Victoria Park 11,333 1 June 1985 Carlton 9.14 (68) Hawthorn 22.15 (147) Princes Park 25,424 1 June 1985 St Kilda 18.12 (120) Essendon 21.20 (146) Moorabbin Oval 16,536 1 June 1985 Geelong 18.12 (120) Richmond 10.10 (70) VFL Park 24,849 1 June 1985 Footscray 16.10 (106) Collingwood 12.8 (80) MCG 45,408 2 June 1985

Round 11

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Melbourne 15.11 (101) Richmond 17.19 (121) MCG 31,606 8 June 1985 Footscray 15.21 (111) St Kilda 13.12 (90) Western Oval 17,538 8 June 1985 Essendon 17.11 (113) Sydney 11.5 (71) Windy Hill 17,652 8 June 1985 North Melbourne 17.11 (113) Hawthorn 17.11 (113) MCG 39,084 10 June 1985 Geelong 17.8 (110) Fitzroy 20.21 (141) Kardinia Park 20,000 10 June 1985 Carlton 16.14 (110) Collingwood 13.9 (87) VFL Park 56,604 10 June 1985

Round 12

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Collingwood 9.10 (64) North Melbourne 14.17 (101) Victoria Park 19,573 15 June 1985 Hawthorn 17.15 (117) Geelong 13.10 (88) Princes Park 11,377 15 June 1985 Richmond 10.9 (69) Essendon 23.12 (150) MCG 36,851 15 June 1985 Footscray 13.8 (86) Carlton 5.9 (39) Western Oval 20,707 15 June 1985 Fitzroy 11.15 (81) Melbourne 6.11 (47) VFL Park 14,668 15 June 1985 Sydney 23.21 (159) St Kilda 13.14 (92) SCG 7,811 16 June 1985

Round 13

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Essendon 21.14 (140) Fitzroy 16.17 (113) Windy Hill 18,398 22 June 1985 Collingwood 12.13 (85) Geelong 13.13 (91) Victoria Park 16,852 22 June 1985 Carlton 20.19 (139) St Kilda 16.11 (107) Princes Park 13,534 22 June 1985 Melbourne 12.9 (81) Hawthorn 11.31 (97) MCG 16,406 22 June 1985 Footscray 11.11 (77) North Melbourne 9.21 (75) VFL Park 22,319 22 June 1985 Sydney 19.23 (137) Richmond 8.12 (60) SCG 9,504 23 June 1985

Round 14

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 10.15 (75) Carlton 22.19 (151) MCG 32,861 28 June 1985 Fitzroy 13.17 (95) Sydney 11.14 (80) Victoria Park 9,953 29 June 1985 St Kilda 12.9 (81) Richmond 17.15 (117) Moorabbin Oval 14,243 29 June 1985 Geelong 17.22 (124) Footscray 23.8 (146) Kardinia Park 17,000 29 June 1985 Melbourne 12.13 (85) Collingwood 23.19 (157) MCG 29,154 29 June 1985 Essendon 21.11 (137) Hawthorn 15.11 (101) VFL Park 48,880 29 June 1985

Round 15

Round 15[2]
Saturday, 6 July (2:10 pm) Geelong 16.8 (104) def. by Carlton 19.16 (130) Kardinia Park (crowd: 19,813) Report
Saturday, 6 July (2:10 pm) Collingwood 11.12 (78) def. by Essendon 13.11 (89) Victoria Park (crowd: 26,014) Report
Saturday, 6 July (2:10 pm) Richmond 21.16 (142) def. Fitzroy 17.16 (118) MCG (crowd: 19,794) Report
Saturday, 6 July (2:10 pm) Footscray 26.13 (169) def. Melbourne 6.13 (49) Western Oval (crowd: 15,328) Report
Saturday, 6 July (2:10 pm) Hawthorn 23.18 (156) def. Sydney 12.11 (83) Princes Park (crowd: 8,694) Report
Saturday, 6 July (2:10 pm) St Kilda 11.9 (75) def. by North Melbourne 21.13 (139) VFL Park (crowd: 11,829) Report
  • Footscray won their sixth consecutive game and recorded the biggest win in the club's history to date, in the 120-point thrashing of Melbourne. Full-forward Simon Beasley registered 10 or more goals for the third time in his career, ending up with 12 goals 3 behinds. The Bulldogs' record winning margin would stand until the 2021 AFL season.

Round 16

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Fitzroy 16.13 (109) St Kilda 18.10 (118) Victoria Park 8,735 13 July 1985 Richmond 17.11 (113) Hawthorn 27.18 (180) MCG 23,522 13 July 1985 Essendon 17.10 (112) Footscray 13.10 (88) Windy Hill 28,144 20 July 1985 North Melbourne 12.19 (91) Geelong 20.11 (131) MCG 17,686 20 July 1985 Carlton 14.15 (99) Melbourne 5.9 (39) VFL Park 17,920 20 July 1985 Sydney 17.21 (123) Collingwood 29.11 (185) SCG 12,172 21 July 1985

Round 17

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Geelong 14.18 (102) St Kilda 12.9 (81) Kardinia Park 11,989 27 July 1985 Footscray 15.15 (105) Sydney 11.13 (79) Western Oval 13,026 27 July 1985 Collingwood 13.8 (86) Richmond 11.12 (78) Victoria Park 20,336 27 July 1985 Carlton 18.12 (120) Essendon 10.8 (68) Princes Park 28,786 27 July 1985 North Melbourne 17.12 (114) Melbourne 16.14 (110) MCG 10,787 27 July 1985 Hawthorn 19.20 (134) Fitzroy 8.14 (62) VFL Park 13,197 27 July 1985

Round 18

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Essendon 25.16 (166) North Melbourne 8.14 (62) Windy Hill 18,894 3 August 1985 Carlton 19.13 (127) Sydney 14.9 (93) Princes Park 15,717 3 August 1985 St Kilda 13.16 (94) Hawthorn 20.15 (135) Moorabbin Oval 10,911 3 August 1985 Melbourne 12.14 (86) Geelong 21.18 (144) MCG 16,421 3 August 1985 Fitzroy 14.21 (105) Collingwood 14.10 (94) Victoria Park 15,958 3 August 1985 Footscray 25.16 (166) Richmond 17.6 (108) VFL Park 16,205 3 August 1985

Round 19

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Fitzroy 10.12 (72) Footscray 12.5 (77) Victoria Park 11,022 10 August 1985 St Kilda 7.8 (50) Melbourne 8.11 (59) Moorabbin Oval 11,779 10 August 1985 Hawthorn 15.6 (96) Collingwood 8.16 (64) Princes Park 15,799 10 August 1985 Richmond 11.14 (80) Carlton 23.15 (153) MCG 24,125 10 August 1985 Essendon 13.11 (89) Geelong 8.16 (64) VFL Park 34,614 10 August 1985 Sydney 12.22 (94) North Melbourne 14.15 (99) SCG 9,215 11 August 1985

Round 20

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date North Melbourne 16.20 (116) Richmond 9.12 (66) Arden St Oval 7,341 17 August 1985 Geelong 13.13 (91) Sydney 9.10 (64) Kardinia Park 12,422 17 August 1985 Footscray 5.13 (43) Hawthorn 5.8 (38) Western Oval 21,828 17 August 1985 Carlton 12.15 (87) Fitzroy 8.11 (59) Princes Park 16,902 17 August 1985 Melbourne 15.7 (97) Essendon 17.10 (112) MCG 22,193 17 August 1985 Collingwood 17.18 (120) St Kilda 9.15 (69) VFL Park 15,709 17 August 1985

Round 21

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Essendon 27.22 (184) St Kilda 14.7 (91) Windy Hill 14,133 24 August 1985 Collingwood 9.10 (64) Footscray 15.19 (109) Victoria Park 21,724 24 August 1985 North Melbourne 17.22 (124) Fitzroy 17.14 (116) MCG 14,581 24 August 1985 Hawthorn 15.17 (107) Carlton 12.12 (84) Princes Park 31,484 24 August 1985 Richmond 16.15 (111) Geelong 12.7 (79) VFL Park 16,174 24 August 1985 Sydney 24.21 (165) Melbourne 14.13 (97) SCG 7,942 25 August 1985

Round 22

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date Hawthorn 23.21 (159) North Melbourne 14.11 (95) Princes Park 16,449 31 August 1985 Fitzroy 14.13 (97) Geelong 17.18 (120) Victoria Park 9,120 31 August 1985 Richmond 20.12 (132) Melbourne 13.13 (91) MCG 17,158 31 August 1985 St Kilda 12.12 (84) Footscray 8.18 (66) Moorabbin Oval 14,236 31 August 1985 Carlton 12.9 (81) Collingwood 11.9 (75) VFL Park 37,027 31 August 1985 Sydney 11.12 (78) Essendon 24.21 (165) SCG 12,180 1 September 1985

Ladder

1985 VFL ladder
Pos Team Pld W L D PF PA PP Pts
1 Essendon (P) 22 19 3 0 2755 1991 138.4 76 Finals
2 Footscray 22 16 6 0 2417 2000 120.9 64
3 Hawthorn 22 15 6 1 2647 2024 130.8 62
4 Carlton 22 15 7 0 2430 2104 115.5 60
5 North Melbourne 22 13 8 1 2379 2431 97.9 54
6 Geelong 22 12 10 0 2277 2263 100.6 48
7 Collingwood 22 10 12 0 2197 2180 100.8 40
8 Richmond 22 9 13 0 2362 2590 91.2 36
9 Fitzroy 22 7 15 0 2301 2452 93.8 28
10 Sydney 22 6 16 0 2219 2349 94.5 24
11 Melbourne 22 6 16 0 1965 2527 77.8 24
12 St Kilda 22 3 19 0 1899 2937 64.7 12
Source: VFL ladder
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) percentage; 3) number of points for.
(P) Premiers

Finals series

Main article: 1985 VFL finals series

Week one

Elimination final
Saturday, 7 September (2:30 pm) Carlton 16.11 (107) def. by North Melbourne 20.6 (126) VFL Park (crowd: 49,126) Report
Qualifying final
Sunday, 8 September (2:30 pm) Footscray 8.14 (62) def. by Hawthorn 22.23 (155) MCG (crowd: 58,367) Report

Week two

Semi-finals
SF1: Sunday, 15 September (2:30 pm) Footscray 19.23 (137) def. North Melbourne 16.11 (107) MCG (crowd: 56,112) Report
SF2: Saturday, 14 September (2:30 pm) Essendon 14.18 (102) def. Hawthorn 9.8 (62) VFL Park (crowd: 67,063) Report

Week three

Preliminary final
Saturday, 21 September (2:30 pm) Footscray 15.9 (99) def. by Hawthorn 16.13 (109) VFL Park (crowd: 55,246) Report

Week four

Main article: 1985 VFL Grand Final

Grand final
Saturday, 28 September (2:50 pm) Essendon 26.14 (170) def. Hawthorn 14.8 (92) MCG (crowd: 100,042) Report
  • Essendon won its 14th VFL/AFL Premiership
  • This marked the third consecutive Grand final contested by Essendon and Hawthorn.
  • Essendon's last quarter score of 11 goals 3 behinds (69 points) beat the previous year's record last quarter score.
  • Kevin Sheedy won his second Jock McHale Medal.

Player Statistics and Awards

Leading goalkickers

Name Club Goals
1 Simon Beasley Footscray 105
2 Bernie Quinlan Fitzroy 84
3 Gary Ablett Geelong 82
4 Brian Taylor Collingwood 80
- Michael Roach Richmond 80

Brownlow Medal count

Name Club Votes
1 Brad Hardie Footscray 22
2 Justin Madden Carlton 21
3 Paul Roos Fitzroy 16
4 Tim Watson Essendon 15
- Greg Williams Geelong 15
- Gary Ablett Geelong 15
- Matthew Larkin North Melbourne 15
- Brian Royal Footscray 15
- Stephen Wallis Footscray 15

Notable events

See also

References

  1. ^ "Round Records". AFL Tables.
  2. ^ "1985 Season Scores and Results Round 15".
  3. ^ "VFL details". The Age Sport Extra. Melbourne. 30 September 1985. p. 2.
  4. ^ Christian, Geoff; "WAFL to Monitor Move on Saints"; in The West Australian, 20 May 1985
  5. ^ Fine, Mark (2011). The Book of Footy Lists. Australia: Slattery Media Group. p. 300. ISBN 9781921778308.
  6. ^ The Age, 19 November 1985

Bibliography