Grand Final scoreboards (part 2)

Welcome to the second in our series about Grand Final scoreboards. This week we see how scoreboards have changed over the years. Here at Scoreboard pressure we were heartened to discover people were taking photographs of scoreboards  at least 98 years ago.

1913 Victorian Football League, Melbourne Cricket Ground

The captions read: ‘Toohey(Fitzroy) marks against his St Kilda opponents’ and ‘Nearly half-time and only five points on the board to the Saints.’

St Kilda finally kicked a goal in the third quarter, with the score at the last break being 5.11 to 1.10. The Saints surged in the final stanza, kicking four goals, but Fitzroy won its fifth flag 7.14 (56) to 5.13 (43).

Attendance at the MCG that day was a record 59, 479.

Words and photos sourced from The Courage Book of VFL Finals 1897 to 1973, compiled by Graeme Atkinson and published by Courage Breweries/Wren Publishing, 1973.

1973 Western Australian Football League, Subiaco Oval

Photo by Angus Belford (1924 – 2002)

There were enduring names involved in the Subiaco team that broke a 49-year premiership drought in 1973.

The captain-coach was Ross Smith, a member of St Kilda’s premiership team of 1966, as was Brian Sierakowski, who lined up a centre-half-forward for Subiaco. Peter Featherby played in the centre and came back after a distinguished VFL career to be part of Subi’s next triumph in 1986. Future club presidents Peter Metropolis and Neil Randall were there along with Test cricketer Mick Malone, legendary full-forward Austin Robertson,  John Dimmer, who went on to coach West Perth and South Fremantle to premierships, and current AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick.

Subiaco 10.12 (72) West Perth 6.4 (42)

Simpson Medal: Dennis Blair (S)

1999 Australian Football League, Melbourne Cricket Ground

Photo courtesy of North Melbourne Football Club

 Extreme satisfaction at the MCG for North Melbourne immediately after the team won its fourth and most recent flag with a six goal victory over the Blues. The scoreboard image depicts, at a guess, coach Denis Pagan being congratulated. Come 2012 North fans will be hoping it’s Brad Scott up there on the big screen.

2002 Western Australian Football League, Subiaco Oval

It’s the last quarter of the 2002 WAFL grand final and West Perth’s sorry score will advance by just two more points. The Falcons were outclassed by East Perth who won their third consecutive premiership.

Our photo shows East Perth’s Tim Lyster competing with Ron Skender at a boundary throw-in while Troy Butcher (EP), Adam Curley (WP) and Devan Perry (EP) await the outcome.

East Perth 15.14 (104) West Perth 5.14 (44)

Premiership coach: Tony Micale.

Simpson Medal: Ryan Turnbull (EP).

2007 Western Australian Football League, Subiaco Oval

Now here’s a scoreboard that really tells you the story of the game.

This was the second of Subiaco’s hat-trick of premierships and the first for coach Scott Watters, who took over from Peter German. The Lions kicked 4.4 to nothing in the first quarter to set the scene.

Brad Smith, who kicked seven goals, and won the Simpson Medal appears on the big screen. The Subiaco line-up included future AFL players Daniel Rich and Greg Broughton.

Peter German, by the way, will be coaching Wiliamstown in the VFL Grand Final against undefeated Port Melbourne, on Sunday 25 September.

2008 Victorian Football League, Telstra Dome

Photo by Stanley ‘Digger’ Roberts

Nothing like a word of warning to put a dampener on premiership celebrations. North Ballarat, partially aligned with North Melbourne, won the first of three consecutive premierships in 2008 when they defeated Port Melbourne by 45 points. The Roosters bowed out of the finals early this year but Port Melbourne, a stand-alone club, meet Williamstown (aligned with Western Bulldogs) in the 2011 VFL Grand Final at Etihad Stadium (formerly Telstra Dome, formerly Colonial Stadium, formerly old railyards, always Wurundjeri country) on Sunday 25 September.

Coming up soon in our Grand Final series: Great Southern Football League, Victorian Women’s Football League, The Reclink Cup, The Foxtel Cup, Onshore Football Association,  Ballarat Football League, and more.


  1. With his part in the Subiaco 1973 victory, Mick Malone became the last player to play Test cricket for Australia and also appear in a first-grade premiership winning team of any code of football in Australia.

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