Almanac Footy History: The first moving images of VFL football

If you’ve never seen this before, I recommend you have a look. The 1909 Grand Final.




This is from YouTube – and the original is from the NFSA Australia.



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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. Have seen some of it before, but always wonderful to view again. Don’t you love the variations in the South guernsey – left to right, right to left! How did anyone see through those women’s hats! Just as well there were far more males in attendance. Wonderful footage, all the better because we won!

  2. Great footage, for all the reasons others have mentioned in the comments. I was particularly interested in the sign ‘Grand Championship v West Adelaide’ in the background. Wikipedia has an entry that filled a gap in my knowledge

  3. Intriguing. Imagine then being a supporter of either club holding a crystal ball, wondering where you’d go after 1909?

    For South Melbourne, this was the first of three flags, after two previous grand final defeats.The 1930’s saw what was probably the golden era of the club though by the end of the century the club didn’t exist. How could you imagine by the end of the 1981 the club was gone, though its achievements bestowed on a totally different team established in Sydney’ rugby heartland.

    For Carlton fans, the day would have been heartbreaking, as you’d won the last three flags, could 1909 give you a quaddy? However the century would treat you well, with another 13 flags, giving a tally of 16 for the century. The 21st century for Carlton flags would be a whole different ball game, though unlike South Melbourne,at least your club still existed.

    History; our segue to the past.


  4. DBalassone says

    Fascinating. Hard to believe that little patch of land is the MCG.
    The footy looks like a medicine ball.

    And great to see Carlton go down again. That’s two in two days for me.

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