As the players changed over the years, the popularity and intensity of this championship just grew over the years.
Classic Grand Finals Between 1931 and 1970
- The legendary player Bob Pratt who scored 362 goals in only three seasons, was compelled to withdraw from 1935 grand final due to being hit by a truck. He was crossing the road the day before final and was seriously injured, but thankfully survived. His absence caused his team to lose to Collingwood by 20 points.
- The 1945 final game is known in history as no less than ‘the bloodbath’. Constant fighting and brawling between the players brought ten players reports and all combined, 73 weeks of suspension.
- By the 1960 finals, Melbourne already had historic six consecutive years at the top of the home-and-away season’s ladder. Along with that, playing Collingwood in the finals, they won their 5th premiership in seven years, once again marking their name in the history of AFL.
- In 1961 Hawthorn won over Footscray in their first AFL premiership. They didn’t enter another grand final for the next 55 years – until 2016.
- The 1964 finals are one of the more legendary and remembered ones, marked by the close victory of Collingwood that was taken away just seconds before the final siren by Melbourne who won by 4 points.
- After 69 years of competing, in 1966 St. Kilda won their first AFL finals, beating Collingwood by a single point. This was their first and so far, their only premiership.
- The 1970 finals are remembered for a few reasons. The game looked like it would clearly be won by Collingwood who was leading by 44 points. However, Carlton overcome the difference and won by 10 points! This finals game was the most visited as well, with 121,696 people attending the game. To this day, this stays the biggest crowd to attend the finals game.