Essendon created history in winning the very first Premiership under the newly formed structure of the VFL in 1897. In those days the club was referred to as the “Same Olds”.

The scores in the Grand Final were Essendon, 1.8 (14) to Melbourne 0.8 (8), which are still the lowest scores ever recorded in a finals game. The finals system then was that each of the four teams competing had to play each other, and Essendon defeated Geelong, 5.5 (35) to 3.11 (29) and then Collingwood 9.16 (70) to Collingwood 4.6 (30), before taking on Melbourne. The Captain of the team was George Stuckey who interestingly also won the Stawell Gift in that year. The President of the club in this year was Alex McCracken and he held this role until 1915. The Premiership team was made up of:

George Stuckey, Arch Sykes, Norman Waugh, August Kearney, August Officer, Jim Anderson, Tod Collins, Hugh Gavin, Colin Campbell, George Cochrane, Arthur Cleghorn, George Vautin, Harry Wright, Edward Kinnear, Charles Forbes, Edgar Croft, Pat O’Loughlin, E. (Son) Barry, George Martin, J. M. Groves.


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