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1897 Premiership

October 26, 2017 4:30 PM

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Standing (l to r): JJ Connor (Hon. Sec.) William Crebbin, Archie Sykes, Official, Hugh Gavin, Charles Moore, Charlie Forbes, Ned Officer, Baron Salkeld, Joe Groves, Arthur Leach, Dave Ferguson, Tod Collins, Official, Jim Anderson, Edward ‘Son’ Barry, Official, Official, Official, Alick Dick, Official. Middle Row (l to r): George Hastings, Gus Officer, Jim Darcy, Edgar Croft, Edward Kinnear, Arthur Cleghorn, George Martin, Harold Brown. Front Row (l to r): Official, Colin Campbell, Jim Park, Norman Waugh, George Cochrane, Gus Kearney, George Stuckey (c), George Vautin, Pat O’Loughlin, Fred Ball.

In late 1896 Essendon led a breakaway group of seven clubs that defected from the VFA to establish their own competition, the Victorian Football League.

In the VFL’s first season Essendon were premiers under a new system whereby the top four teams played a round robin competition at season’s end.

Essendon won all three ‘finals’ games and became the new competition’s inaugural premiers.

Essendon 5.5 (35) def Geelong 3.11 (29) Corio Oval, Attendance: 5,000

Essendon 9.16 (70) def Collingwood 4.6 (30) MCG, Attendance: 8,000

Essendon 1.8 (14) def Melbourne 0.8 (8) Lake Oval, Attendance: 3,800

Team

J. Anderson, S. Barry, C. Campbell, A. Cleghorn, G. Cochrane, T. Collins, E. Croft, D. Ferguson, C. Forbes, H. Gavin, J. Groves, G. Hastings, G. Kearney, T. Kinnear, G. Martin, N. Officer, P. O'Loughlin, G. Stuckey, G. Vautin, N. Waugh, H. Wright

Captain: George Stuckey

Leading goalkicker: Norman Waugh (23)