1924 Our Sixth Flag

Having won the flag in 1923, Essendon went into the new season full of confidence but struggled early in the season. Gradually, however, the team regained form and edged up the list.

Despite losing the last home and away game to Melbourne they retained top spot.

Essendon had to fight for the flag through a new system of six finals, with all four finalists having to play each other. The premier team was to be that club that had the most wins and highest percentage at the end of the series.

The League finished up with the ridiculous situation where the premiers, Essendon, were easily beaten by Richmond, 9.13 (67) to 6.11 (47) in the last game, Essendon’s percentage being 142.7 to Richmond’s 115.5. This system was thrown out at the end of the series, however the club were still the premier team.

Fans were shocked to learn that following the game in the dressing rooms and later at Carlyon’s Hotel, players blamed each other for the loss and many fists flew. At that stage this was reported as the “blackest time in Essendon’s history”.

The split among the players was again highlighted the week after the finals when VFA premiers, Footscray, challenged Essendon to a charity match. The Dons were initially not keen to play, but agreed after a personal appeal from Dame Nellie Melba who sought the match for the Limbless Soldiers Fund

Footscray won the game easily and opened up the door for them to be included in the VFL competition in 1925.

Fists are said to have again been flying in the Essendon rooms after the game. There were rumours that Essendon players had received sums of money to “take it easy” and one star was said to have returned home to find a new car in his driveway. Unfortunately, club Legend, Tom Fitzmaurice, refused to play with the club again following this loss. He played with Geelong the following year in their Premiership team.

The initial Brownlow Medal was awarded that year to Cargie Greeves  of Geelong, however the runner up was  George “Tich” Shorten of Essendon.


The team that played Richmond in the final game was:

B. Clyde Donaldson Fred Baring Harry Hunter
H.B Roy Laing Tom Fitzmaurice Charles Farrell
C. George Shorten                Charles May Jim Sullivan
H.F Frank Maher Justin McCarthy Rowley Watt
F. Tom Jenkins Greg Stockdale Vince Irwin
R. Sydney Barker Norm Beckton Charlie Hardy


Archived Premiership Articles

  1. 1897 Premiership (1st)
  2. 1901 Premiership (2nd)
  3. 1911 Our Premiership (3rd)
  4. 1912 Our Premiership (4th)
  5. 1923 Our Premiership (5th)
  6. 1962 Premiership (11th)
Welcome to our Website

Welcome to the EFCPP&OA Website. This is great innovation by our Association and one, which I believe will enable the committee of the EFCPP&OA to serve its members and the public better than ever before. Importantly, it will also enable Bomber fans and other football fans to better understand what the Association is all about and to find out what's happening with players who have represented the Essendon Football Club in the recent and distant past.

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Barry Capuano

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