1951 VFL Grand Final

The 1951 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Geelong Football Club and Essendon Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 29 September 1951. It was the 55th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1951 VFL season. The match, attended by 84,109 spectators, was won by Geelong by 11 points, marking that club's fourth premiership victory.

1951 VFL Grand Final


11.15 (81) 10.10 (70)
1 2 3 4
GEE 3.8 (26) 4.10 (34) 9.13 (67) 11.15 (81)
ESS 1.0 (6) 6.2 (38) 6.4 (40) 10.10 (70)
Date29 September 1951
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
 1950 VFL Grand Final 1952 

This was the sixth successive Grand Final appearance for the Bombers, who were the reigning premiers. They were attempting to win three successive flags, after having defeated Carlton in the 1949 VFL Grand Final and North Melbourne in the 1950 VFL Grand Final.

The Bombers' went into the match without star full-forward John Coleman who had been suspended for four matches. They pulled another surprise by including coach Dick Reynolds who had retired the year before, Dick wasn't selected on the Thursday night but came into the side as a reserve.

The win by Geelong capped off a brilliant season for the Cats. They won the Minor Premiership for finishing on top of the home and away ladder, Bernie Smith won the Brownlow Medal and George Goninon was the league's leading goalkicker. It was Geelong's first flag since winning the 1937 VFL Grand Final.


B: Bernie Smith Bruce Morrison Loy Stewart
HB: Bert Worner John Hyde Russell Middlemiss
C: Syd Tate Leo Turner Terry Fulton
HF: Russell Renfrey Fred Flanagan (c) Bob Davis
F: Bill McMaster George Goninon Peter Pianto
Foll: Tom Morrow Jim Norman Neil Trezise
Res: Les Reed Ron Hovey
Coach: Reg Hickey
B: Les Gardiner Bill Brittingham Doug Bigelow
HB: Harold Lambert Roy McConnell Norm McDonald
C: Chris Lambert Alan Dale Lance Mann
HF: Ron McEwin Bill Snell Jack Jones
F: Fred Payne Keith McDonald Greg Tate
Foll: Wally May Bob Syme Bill Hutchison (c)
Res: Jack Clarke Dick Reynolds
Coach: Dick Reynolds



Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Geelong 3.8 (26) 4.10 (34) 9.13 (67) 11.15 (81)
Essendon 1.0 (6) 6.2 (38) 6.4 (40) 10.10 (70)
Attendance: 85,795



  • Goninon 4
  • Davis 1
  • Flanagan 1
  • McMaster 1
  • Morrow 1
  • Norman 1
  • Pianto 1
  • Trezise 1


  • K McDonald 2
  • Syme 2
  • Hutchison 1
  • Jones 1
  • May 1
  • Payne 1
  • Snell 1
  • Tate 1

See also


  • AFL Tables: 1951 Grand Final (Archived 2009-09-24)
  • 1951 (Archived 2009-09-24)
  • The Official statistical history of the AFL 2004
  • Ross, J. (ed), 100 Years of Australian Football 1897-1996: The Complete Story of the AFL, All the Big Stories, All the Great Pictures, All the Champions, Every AFL Season Reported, Viking, (Ringwood), 1996. ISBN 0-670-86814-0
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