Almanac (Footy) History: 1963 Grand Final – Geelong v Hawthorn, final quarter



This piece was initially published (in early 2019) to show the 1963 Grand Final. However it serves as a fine tribute to the great Polly Farmer on the occasion of his passing, Aug 14, 2019. Vale Polly farmer.



Peter Flynn has found video of the final quarter of the 1963 Grand Final (see below).


Some talking points:


Polly Farmer’s ruck work. And handballing. And how quick he was. Such beauty. Such grace.


Billy Goggin’s roving in the guts and around the ground.


The marking generally. And how the flat parabolic trajectory of the drop kick is great for marking.


Hines, Sharrock, the Lords, Rice.


And the big blokes: Yeates, Watts, Goodland, Wade.


Note also the Geelong player’s awareness when John Peck is in the vicinity – one classic example of it (Where is he?”)


How good positional footy is.


How effortless was Jeff Crouch in umpiring the game.


The commentary: “Champagne football”


Geelong 15.19.109 d Hawthorn 8.12.60






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About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. You are correct about the drop punt, JTH.
    But the margin for error was much greater.



  3. John Pini says

    Great to watch, Farmer in particular!
    I had almost forgotten about the “flick pass” too.

  4. Bob Morrow says

    Oooh wasn’t that absolutely marvelous. I was there & my mate said 1/2 way through that last Quarter ” come on your going to win lets leave & beat the rush ” No way , I was going to savour it. I didn’t know I would have to wait 44 years for another. 2 things stand out to me the wonderful dropkick & no straging in the ruck duels .


    GEELONG HAVE WON FOUR PREMIERSHIPS 1963, 2007, 2009 & 2011.

  6. Thanks John, that was great to see. I chose Geelong as a 7YO based on their previous year’s Premiership. Further evidence that is was the correct choice. Champagne Football indeed. I was struck by how few packs and rugby scrums were in evidence!

  7. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Don Hyde and Ian Cleland commentary wonderful. “Sharrock, the boy from Tooleybuc” Great footage.

    Bring back the flick pass I say !

  8. Bob Morrow says

    They also won 1951 , 1952

  9. What do you mean “bring back the flick pass”. Have not seen a “throw/holding the ball/dropping the ball” paid all year. As long as you are moving it on, not dragging it in – anything goes. Who needs the flick pass when the rugby pass is passe’?


    I FORGOT 1951 & 1952 SORRY BAOUT THAT.

  11. Thanks PJF the no out on the full rule or returning the ball to your opponent stood out great to have the chance to see Farmer and Goggin in action and the holding the ball re the cats 1st goal,Razor Ray would have been proud of

  12. george smith says

    Would I trade the 1990 premiership for the 3 Moggie ones that happened later, giving us a 49 year break instead of 32 – not on your nelly! The Moggies should have won a flag in the 89 to 95 era, but it wasn’t to be, in spite of the massive talent available, Ablett, Stoneham, Brownless, the list goes on…

  13. Bob and Jason: Have u both forgotten flags in 1925, 1931 and 1937 the last one listed under skipper Reg Hickey. Of course he was the coach in 1951-52.

    Back to 1963. I was a penniless student at the Aust. School of Pacific Admin. living in Mosman and we had no TV.

    So off to a mate’s flat in Manly where his more affluent flatmates did have a television. Watched the B and W TeeV but have only hazy memories.

    Still, it was great to head off to PNG 6 weeks later with a Catters premiership memory still in the brain

  14. Best day I’ve ever had at the footy.

    The Cats had to knock the mighty Hawks off three times in a row to win that flag – last round at Glenferrie and then two finals. Polly Farmer – what a champion!

    Cheers, Burkie

  15. Jen Costello says

    Thanks John
    Special to be reminded of Polly’s gracefull style and his connection with Billy Goggin.

    The old days of footy–black boots, white hat and coated goal umps, streamers stretching across the goal lines..

    Thankfully the on- field treatment of concussion has since been modified!!!

    Great Cats victory. Little did we know then how long we’d have to wait till the next one.

  16. DBalassone says

    This is gold. It’s worth watching just for Polly Farmer’s ruck work. How’s that tap at 16:52. He was a graceful goliath.

    It’s always a delight to watch Hawthorn lose a Grand Final too.

  17. Wonder if Flynnie has anything from the 1951 grannie. Cats won that, too, although I think we were called the Pivotonians back then. Long winded way of saying Pivot City. I was a little primary schoolboy and watched as Geel. hung on in the last quarter even when Dickie Reynolds ran on as 20th man. No interchange back then …. once u were on as the 19th or 20th man that was it for the day for the replaced players. A friend of my Dad collected me outside the G in an open old Austin Not many privately owned cars about back then so he was pretty close to the G exit gates i recall

  18. Brilliant stuff.

    The footies were a lot rounder back then. Maybe that’s why goal kicking is harder today? Pointy footies means less leather to hit?

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