AFL RECORD CELEBRATES
THE AFL RECORD celebrates its one hundredth year this Friday. Back in 1912 round one didn't start until the weekend after ANZAC Day, and consisted of just five games per round in a ten year comp that included teams such as University and Fitzroy. Neither of those sides are really around any more and a couple others (Footscray, South Melbourne) that have renamed or relocated. To cap off this milestone, Slattery Media are releasing an eleven volume hardback publication titled 100 Year of Grand Final Records containing a reproduction of every Grand Final record to date.
For $400 or so you get a serious pool room or drawing room shelf sitter; probably a bit steep for the average punter but there's only 1,000 editions being produced. When you multiply out 100 odd records by the $15 they charged for the 2011 Grand Final Record four hundred large probably isn't too bad; might invest in one ourselves. We can just imagine one of these as a background for Talking Footy or the replacement On the Couch. The set is 'pocket size' or 165mm x 240mm as early Records were only A5 in size.
The Record wasn't the first match day publication but began life in 1912. In the Grand Final of that season South Melbourne, who finished top of the ladder that season by percentage from Carlton, were defeated by Essendon who had won the 'Preliminary' final the week before. Back then of course the finals system consisted of two knockout semi finals followed by what was termed a preliminary final. If a different side to that one that finished top of the ladder won this preliminary final, the top spot had the right to challenge for a Grand Final playoff, which inevitably did happen. The Bombers unfortunately defeated South by 14 points. The 32-page Record contains adverts for many brand names we do not recognise and also included the 'Association' fixture and results for the season (the VFA).
Fast forward a few years and the VFL has twelve clubs, eleven in Melbourne and one of course in Geelong. One of our prized possessions is a copy of the 1963 VFL Grand Final record, Official organ of the Victorian Football League (pictured on right) the Grandparents took home from what turned out to be the final Premiership either grandfather and several uncles ever saw. One advert most would recognise is for British Paints on the front cover, for once not spruiked by Rolf Harris.