It was the second successive year in which the two teams met in a premiership decider, with Melbourne having won the 1955 VFL Grand Final.
This Grand Final was attended by 115,803 spectators, easily the largest crowd to have witnessed a premiership decider in VFL Grand Final history, breaking the record of 96,486 spectators who witnessed the 1938 VFL Grand Final. The record stood for 12 years until it was eventually broken by the crowd attendance at the 1968 VFL Grand Final.
A scene from the game is captured in Jamie Cooper's painting The Game That Made Australia, commissioned by the AFL in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the sport: Collingwood's Neil Mann and Melbourne's Ian Ridley fighting amongst the spectators who were sitting on the arena (but behind the boundary line).
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