1898 VFL Grand Final, St Kilda, Victoria

1898 VFL Grand Final. Fitzroy 5.8 (38) defeated Essendon 3.5 (23).

Is this the oldest photo of an Australian Rules scoreboard? It’s from the second season of the VFL, after it broke away from the VFA.

We came across the photo in a book published nearly a century after Fitzroy won the 1898 flag: 100 Years Of Australian Football, 1897 to 1996. The complete story of the AFL. Published by Viking/Penguin, 1996.

‘…..A large crowd of 15,000 were at the St Kilda Ground for the Grand Final against Essendon. Players ‘skated a good deal’ on some parts of the ground, but Fitzroy created the better scoring chances in the first three quarters….In a relentlessly defensive last quarter Fitzroy did not score a goal, but equally Essendon were unable to bridge the 15 point gap.’ (page 42)

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