It was Carlton's first appearance in a Grand Final since the 1949 VFL Grand Final. Essendon had been losing Grand Finalists on three occasions since their last flag in 1950 and this was their first premiership under coach John Coleman.
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. ISBN0-670-86814-0