1956 VFL season

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1956 VFL Premiership season
Teams 12
Premiers Melbourne
(8th premiership)
Minor premiers Melbourne
(4th minor premiership)
Consolation series South Melbourne
(1st Consolation series win)
Matches played 112
Highest attendance 115,902
Coleman Medallist Bill Young (St Kilda)
Brownlow Medallist Peter Box (Footscray)
1955
1957

The 1956 Victorian Football League season was the 60th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.

1956 Summer Olympics[edit]

From 22 November to 8 December, the 1956 Summer Olympics were to be held in Melbourne, with a re-configured Melbourne Cricket Ground as its Main Stadium.

The need to accommodate this fact brought certain changes to the 1956 VFL season:

  • The 1956 Grand Final was brought forward to 15 September in order to allow sufficient time to prepare the M.C.G. for the Olympics.
  • The season commenced early to accommodate a full eighteen rounds of home-and-away matches.
  • Due to works to demolish the old Grandstand and the construct the new Northern (Olympic) Stand, Melbourne Cricket Ground would not be available to Melbourne for its home matches until Round 5.

It was not desirable for Melbourne to play four consecutive away matches to start the season. This was partly because Melbourne would then have four consecutive home matches between Rounds 12 and 15. Additionally, because of the proximity of the Melbourne Cricket Ground to Punt Road Oval, matches were never scheduled at the venues on the same day; so it would have forced Richmond to open the season with four home matches, then play four away matches from Rounds 12 to 15. To overcome this, Melbourne played only its first three matches away, then played its Round 4 home match against Fitzroy at Punt Road Oval.

Premiership season[edit]

In 1956, the VFL competition consisted of twelve teams of 18 on-the-field players each, plus two substitute players, known as the 19th man and the 20th man. A player could be substituted for any reason; however, once substituted, a player could not return to the field of play under any circumstances.

Teams played each other in a home-and-away season of 18 rounds; matches 12 to 18 were the "home-and-way reverse" of matches 1 to 7.

Once the 18 round home-and-away season had finished, the 1956 VFL Premiers were determined by the specific format and conventions of the "Page-McIntyre system".

Round 1[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
North Melbourne 15.8 (98) St Kilda 5.11 (41) Arden Street Oval 11,000 14 April 1956
Richmond 8.7 (55) Melbourne 12.16 (88) Punt Road Oval 25,000 14 April 1956
South Melbourne 7.8 (50) Geelong 11.11 (77) Lake Oval 25,000 14 April 1956
Footscray 14.14 (98) Fitzroy 10.9 (69) Western Oval 26,617 14 April 1956
Hawthorn 8.17 (65) Collingwood 14.13 (97) Glenferrie Oval 24,000 14 April 1956
Essendon 9.13 (67) Carlton 5.9 (39) Windy Hill 30,000 14 April 1956

Round 2[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Geelong 16.14 (110) North Melbourne 2.10 (22) Kardinia Park 17,294 21 April 1956
Collingwood 12.18 (90) South Melbourne 7.11 (53) Victoria Park 24,800 21 April 1956
Carlton 6.11 (47) Melbourne 12.18 (90) Princes Park 18,656 21 April 1956
Richmond 12.13 (85) Hawthorn 16.10 (106) Punt Road Oval 16,000 21 April 1956
St Kilda 7.4 (46) Footscray 10.14 (74) Junction Oval 21,382 21 April 1956
Fitzroy 10.19 (79) Essendon 7.15 (57) Brunswick Street Oval 18,000 21 April 1956

Round 3[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Footscray 5.11 (41) Melbourne 9.13 (67) Western Oval 33,265 28 April 1956
Fitzroy 13.16 (94) South Melbourne 10.13 (73) Brunswick Street Oval 18,000 28 April 1956
Hawthorn 15.10 (100) Geelong 16.16 (112) Glenferrie Oval 20,000 28 April 1956
North Melbourne 9.11 (65) Essendon 15.17 (107) Arden Street Oval 15,000 28 April 1956
Richmond 17.12 (114) Collingwood 11.12 (78) Punt Road Oval 30,000 28 April 1956
St Kilda 9.11 (65) Carlton 13.9 (87) Junction Oval 26,400 28 April 1956

Round 4[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Geelong 15.13 (103) Richmond 10.11 (71) Kardinia Park 21,840 5 May 1956
Essendon 18.9 (117) St Kilda 9.23 (77) Windy Hill 16,000 5 May 1956
Collingwood 12.15 (87) Footscray 11.7 (73) Victoria Park 29,818 5 May 1956
Carlton 15.12 (102) North Melbourne 13.16 (94) Princes Park 17,447 5 May 1956
South Melbourne 6.17 (53) Hawthorn 8.11 (59) Lake Oval 18,500 5 May 1956
Melbourne 10.19 (79) Fitzroy 9.6 (60) Punt Road Oval 23,000 5 May 1956

Round 5[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Footscray 9.13 (67) South Melbourne 8.9 (57) Western Oval 18,134 12 May 1956
Fitzroy 8.15 (63) North Melbourne 7.6 (48) Brunswick Street Oval 9,000 12 May 1956
Essendon 6.22 (58) Richmond 7.10 (52) Windy Hill 17,000 12 May 1956
Carlton 8.16 (64) Collingwood 3.4 (22) Princes Park 24,000 12 May 1956
St Kilda 3.9 (27) Hawthorn 6.12 (48) Junction Oval 12,250 12 May 1956
Melbourne 6.20 (56) Geelong 6.12 (48) MCG 47,130 12 May 1956

Round 6[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Fitzroy 11.11 (77) St Kilda 7.11 (53) Brunswick Street Oval 11,500 19 May 1956
Collingwood 10.7 (67) Geelong 2.14 (26) Victoria Park 28,000 19 May 1956
North Melbourne 6.6 (42) Melbourne 11.18 (84) Arden Street Oval 11,000 19 May 1956
Hawthorn 10.14 (74) Footscray 10.11 (71) Glenferrie Oval 22,000 19 May 1956
South Melbourne 15.8 (98) Essendon 11.20 (86) Lake Oval 26,000 19 May 1956
Richmond 9.14 (68) Carlton 15.17 (107) Punt Road Oval 28,000 19 May 1956

Round 7[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
North Melbourne 15.7 (97) South Melbourne 7.16 (58) Arden Street Oval 13,000 26 May 1956
St Kilda 9.10 (64) Richmond 6.8 (44) Junction Oval 15,800 26 May 1956
Hawthorn 8.10 (58) Fitzroy 9.13 (67) Glenferrie Oval 18,000 26 May 1956
Geelong 15.17 (107) Essendon 8.9 (57) Kardinia Park 21,758 26 May 1956
Melbourne 11.13 (79) Collingwood 9.7 (61) MCG 46,868 26 May 1956
Footscray 7.13 (55) Carlton 8.8 (56) Western Oval 33,089 26 May 1956

Round 8[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Collingwood 9.10 (64) North Melbourne 3.4 (22) Victoria Park 22,650 2 June 1956
Carlton 10.13 (73) Hawthorn 5.9 (39) Princes Park 33,557 2 June 1956
St Kilda 6.11 (47) Melbourne 9.7 (61) Junction Oval 26,300 2 June 1956
Richmond 10.15 (75) South Melbourne 12.6 (78) Punt Road Oval 23,000 4 June 1956
Essendon 12.11 (83) Footscray 14.23 (107) Windy Hill 31,500 4 June 1956
Geelong 11.12 (78) Fitzroy 8.8 (56) Kardinia Park 21,985 4 June 1956

Round 9[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Hawthorn 7.13 (55) North Melbourne 3.12 (30) Glenferrie Oval 11,000 9 June 1956
Footscray 12.14 (86) Richmond 6.8 (44) Western Oval 24,443 9 June 1956
Carlton 11.13 (79) Geelong 12.8 (80) Princes Park 33,254 9 June 1956
South Melbourne 14.5 (89) St Kilda 11.8 (74) Lake Oval 21,000 9 June 1956
Melbourne 15.17 (107) Essendon 4.15 (39) MCG 32,543 9 June 1956
Fitzroy 5.7 (37) Collingwood 12.10 (82) Brunswick Street Oval 24,000 9 June 1956

Round 10[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
North Melbourne 10.13 (73) Richmond 12.11 (83) Arden Street Oval 11,000 16 June 1956
Footscray 13.12 (90) Geelong 10.8 (68) Western Oval 35,909 16 June 1956
St Kilda 9.9 (63) Collingwood 8.21 (69) Junction Oval 26,800 16 June 1956
Melbourne 12.10 (82) South Melbourne 8.11 (59) MCG 36,361 23 June 1956
Essendon 12.20 (92) Hawthorn 10.11 (71) Windy Hill 17,000 23 June 1956
Fitzroy 7.11 (53) Carlton 13.11 (89) Brunswick Street Oval 27,000 23 June 1956

Round 11[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Hawthorn 5.12 (42) Melbourne 11.14 (80) Glenferrie Oval 15,500 30 June 1956
Geelong 9.8 (62) St Kilda 8.9 (57) Kardinia Park 11,052 30 June 1956
Collingwood 15.18 (108) Essendon 7.12 (54) Victoria Park 23,814 30 June 1956
North Melbourne 5.9 (39) Footscray 6.13 (49) Arden Street Oval 14,000 30 June 1956
Richmond 15.12 (102) Fitzroy 12.14 (86) Punt Road Oval 12,000 30 June 1956
South Melbourne 9.19 (73) Carlton 7.12 (54) Lake Oval 27,000 30 June 1956

Round 12[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Melbourne 11.13 (79) Richmond 7.3 (45) MCG 26,772 7 July 1956
Geelong 10.7 (67) South Melbourne 3.8 (26) Kardinia Park 16,439 7 July 1956
Fitzroy 7.9 (51) Footscray 9.7 (61) Brunswick Street Oval 17,500 7 July 1956
Collingwood 11.18 (84) Hawthorn 8.10 (58) Victoria Park 17,150 7 July 1956
Carlton 12.13 (85) Essendon 5.15 (45) Princes Park 23,154 7 July 1956
St Kilda 20.9 (129) North Melbourne 7.9 (51) Junction Oval 14,600 7 July 1956

Round 13[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Hawthorn 3.13 (31) Richmond 8.6 (54) Glenferrie Oval 13,000 14 July 1956
Footscray 11.13 (79) St Kilda 13.2 (80) Western Oval 25,414 14 July 1956
Essendon 9.13 (67) Fitzroy 8.10 (58) Windy Hill 14,000 14 July 1956
North Melbourne 7.5 (47) Geelong 19.15 (129) Arden Street Oval 9,000 14 July 1956
South Melbourne 10.9 (69) Collingwood 11.9 (75) Lake Oval 25,000 14 July 1956
Melbourne 14.10 (94) Carlton 12.7 (79) MCG 46,022 14 July 1956

Round 14[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Geelong 12.13 (85) Hawthorn 10.14 (74) Kardinia Park 13,373 21 July 1956
Essendon 10.18 (78) North Melbourne 6.11 (47) Windy Hill 12,800 21 July 1956
Collingwood 14.16 (100) Richmond 8.5 (53) Victoria Park 21,422 21 July 1956
Carlton 8.18 (66) St Kilda 9.12 (66) Princes Park 30,100 21 July 1956
Melbourne 7.17 (59) Footscray 10.12 (72) MCG 47,956 21 July 1956
South Melbourne 11.15 (81) Fitzroy 15.15 (105) Lake Oval 15,000 21 July 1956

Round 15[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Hawthorn 10.18 (78) South Melbourne 12.6 (78) Glenferrie Oval 12,500 28 July 1956
Fitzroy 7.11 (53) Melbourne 11.15 (81) Brunswick Street Oval 13,000 28 July 1956
Richmond 9.11 (65) Geelong 11.13 (79) Punt Road Oval 15,000 28 July 1956
St Kilda 6.11 (47) Essendon 7.7 (49) Junction Oval 28,100 28 July 1956
Footscray 11.6 (72) Collingwood 14.20 (104) Western Oval 41,639 28 July 1956
North Melbourne 4.8 (32) Carlton 11.16 (82) Arden Street Oval 13,000 28 July 1956

Round 16[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Hawthorn 15.8 (98) St Kilda 12.9 (81) Glenferrie Oval 15,000 4 August 1956
Geelong 8.10 (58) Melbourne 8.8 (56) Kardinia Park 29,687 4 August 1956
South Melbourne 10.10 (70) Footscray 8.15 (63) Lake Oval 26,000 4 August 1956
North Melbourne 14.21 (105) Fitzroy 8.8 (56) Arden Street Oval 8,500 4 August 1956
Richmond 13.13 (91) Essendon 11.13 (79) Punt Road Oval 18,500 4 August 1956
Collingwood 9.17 (71) Carlton 12.12 (84) Victoria Park 38,679 4 August 1956

Round 17[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Melbourne 16.18 (114) North Melbourne 11.5 (71) MCG 16,186 11 August 1956
Footscray 15.13 (103) Hawthorn 9.6 (60) Western Oval 16,492 11 August 1956
Essendon 11.10 (76) South Melbourne 7.16 (58) Windy Hill 13,000 11 August 1956
Carlton 7.24 (66) Richmond 10.11 (71) Princes Park 22,500 11 August 1956
St Kilda 6.7 (43) Fitzroy 8.8 (56) Junction Oval 14,200 11 August 1956
Geelong 10.9 (69) Collingwood 15.11 (101) Kardinia Park 32,155 11 August 1956

Round 18[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Venue Crowd Date
Richmond 16.9 (105) St Kilda 16.14 (110) Punt Road Oval 15,000 18 August 1956
Fitzroy 9.16 (70) Hawthorn 10.17 (77) Brunswick Street Oval 7,500 18 August 1956
Essendon 14.13 (97) Geelong 9.15 (69) Windy Hill 16,500 18 August 1956
Collingwood 9.6 (60) Melbourne 10.13 (73) Victoria Park 31,089 18 August 1956
Carlton 6.9 (45) Footscray 8.14 (62) Princes Park 44,878 18 August 1956
South Melbourne 13.9 (87) North Melbourne 7.13 (55) Lake Oval 10,000 18 August 1956

Ladder[edit]

1956 VFL Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA  % PTS
1 Melbourne (P) 18 16 2 0 1429 979 145.97 64
2 Collingwood 18 13 5 0 1420 1128 125.89 52
3 Geelong 18 13 5 0 1427 1171 121.86 52
4 Footscray 18 11 7 0 1323 1159 114.15 44
5 Carlton 18 10 7 1 1304 1147 113.69 42
6 Essendon 18 10 8 0 1308 1365 95.82 40
7 Hawthorn 18 7 10 1 1193 1342 88.90 30
8 Fitzroy 18 7 11 0 1190 1332 89.34 28
9 South Melbourne 18 6 11 1 1210 1374 88.06 26
10 Richmond 18 6 12 0 1277 1471 86.81 24
11 St Kilda 18 4 13 1 1170 1330 87.97 18
12 North Melbourne 18 3 15 0 1038 1491 69.62 12
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points for, PA = Points against

Consolation Night Series Competition[edit]

The first VFL night series was held under floodlights at Lake Oval, South Melbourne amongst those teams who had missed the regular final series.

The eight teams that had finished in places 5 to 12 on the end-of-season ladder played in a set of seven elimination matches at the end of the home-and-away season.

The Final was played on the evening of Monday 17 September 1956 (two days after the VFL Grand Final) in front of 33,120 spectators.

Final: South Melbourne 13.16 (94) defeated Carlton 13.10 (78)

Premiership Finals[edit]

First Semi-Final[edit]

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Geelong 4.2 6.2 6.4 6.5 (41)
Footscray 1.3 4.6 5.8 5.13 (43)
Attendance: 79,402

Second Semi-Final[edit]

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Melbourne 1.4 3.6 8.9 11.14 (80)
Collingwood 1.4 3.7 8.10 8.16 (64)
Attendance: 91,480

Preliminary Final[edit]

Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Collingwood 6.1 6.1 11.5 15.6 (96)
Footscray 3.0 5.8 6.9 7.15 (57)
Attendance: 94,104

Grand final[edit]

Main article: 1956 VFL Grand Final
Team 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr Final
Melbourne 2.4 6.11 10.16 17.19 (121)
Collingwood 3.3 4.3 5.6 6.12 (48)
Attendance: 115,902

Awards[edit]

Notable events[edit]

  • The VFL introduced a "Night Premiership", played between teams that finished outside the final four. The seven elimination matches were played under lights at the Lake Oval. The matches were renowned for their violence both on and off the field. In 1956, licensed venues in Melbourne closed at six o' clock, so the matches provided patrons a location to have a drink after six o'clock; this made these matches very attractive, and the seven matches were attended by an average of 20,000+ patrons. The lighting was dim by modern standards, and it meant that most of the spectators could not always clearly see what was happening on the other side of the ground. On occasion the fights amongst the spectators were so fierce that the players stopped to watch. There was also much violence on the field, with players soon learning that keeping to the well-lit parts of the ground offered considerable protection.
  • In winning the Grand Final, Melbourne created a record by having defeated the same opponent (Collingwood) four times in a single senior VFL season.
  • The official Grand Final attendance of 115,802 (based on gate entrance sales) broke VFL records. The record crowd was largely due to the opening of the Melbourne Cricket Ground's new grandstand, but public interest was also high as a close, hard-fought game was expected. The ground was so packed that spectators sat between the fence and the boundary line. The gates were closed for safety. During the third quarter the crowd milling outside the MCG broke a perimeter fence and more people poured into the MCG. From the following year (in 1957), ticket sales were first used for the final series to prevent overcrowding.
  • The VFL inaugurated a public Brownlow Medal presentation ceremony to be held at the First Semi-Final.
  • Essendon Third Eighteen footballer and junior champion athlete Ron Clarke, son of 1931 Essendon Best and Fairest Tom Clarke, and brother of Essendon champion Jack Clarke, lit the Olympic Flame in the 1956 Olympics' opening ceremony.
  • Australian rules football was a demonstration sport at the 1956 Olympics: on Friday 7 December 1956, as a curtain raiser to the soccer match to decide third and fourth places between Bulgaria and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a combined team of amateur players from the VFA and VFL played a demonstration match of Australian rules football against a team of Victorian Amateur Football Association players in front of an audience of 21,236.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Maplestone, M., Flying Higher: History of the Essendon Football Club 1872-1996, Essendon Football Club, (Melbourne), 1996. ISBN 0-9591740-2-8
  • Rogers, S. & Brown, A., Every Game Ever Played: VFL/AFL Results 1897-1997 (Sixth Edition), Viking Books, (Ringwood), 1998. ISBN 0-670-90809-6
  • 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

External links[edit]