Collingwood Magpies

The History Of The Collingwood

The History of The Collingwood

The Collingwood Football Club plays in the Australian Rules Football League.

Collingwood Football Club, commonly known as Collingwood or the Magpies, is a professional Australian rules football club based in Melbourne, Victoria. It is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in the history of the sport.

History Of The Collingwood
History Of The Collingwood

Collingwood, like many Victorian AFL teams, has a rich and detailed history dating back 130 years. The club was originally based in Collingwood Victoria, a suburb within Melbourne City. However, the support base of the club is spread throughout Australia, despite its roots being in Melbourne. It is tied with Essendon, and Carlton in terms of the number of VFL/AFL Premierships. The club holds the record for most consecutive premierships with four (1927-1930). They are also the only VFL team to have played a complete home and away season without losing (1929).

This article explores the history of the club from its founding in 1892 until the current season.

In February 1892, the Collingwood Football Club began to take shape. It was at the height of the worst depression in history. Collingwood’s first match in the Victorian Football Association premier football competition was against Carlton Football Club, on 7 May 1892.

Collingwood Home Grounds

Collingwood’s traditional home ground is Victoria Park, located in Abbotsford, Melbourne. The club played at Victoria Park from its inception until 1999. Since then, Collingwood has played its home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the largest stadium in Australia, with occasional games at Marvel Stadium.

Collingwood had originally only scheduled 17 matches and required more than 18 to join the Victorian Football Association. Collingwood missed out on the 1892 season until Carlton Football Club included a match to their list of games so that Collingwood could have the required 18. Carlton donated the gate receipts of the match to the fledgling team. 

Victoria Park holds a special place in the history of Collingwood Football Club. Here are some additional details about Collingwood’s traditional home ground and its transition to other venues:

Victoria Park
Victoria Park
  1. Victoria Park (1892-1999):
    • Location: Victoria Park was located in Abbotsford, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.
    • Early Years: Collingwood Football Club played its first match at Victoria Park in May 1892 and continued to use the venue as its primary home ground for over a century.
    • Development: Over the years, Victoria Park underwent several renovations and expansions to accommodate growing crowds and enhance facilities for players and supporters.
    • Historic Matches: The ground witnessed numerous historic moments in Collingwood’s history, including premiership victories and memorable finals clashes.
    • Community Hub: Victoria Park was not just a sporting venue but also a community hub for Collingwood supporters, hosting various social events and activities over the decades.
  2. Transition to the MCG:
    • 1999: Collingwood played its last AFL match at Victoria Park in 1999, marking the end of an era for the club at its beloved home ground.
    • Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG): Since leaving Victoria Park, Collingwood has primarily played its home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The MCG is one of the largest and most iconic stadiums in Australia, with a seating capacity exceeding 100,000 spectators.
    • Significance: Moving to the MCG allowed Collingwood to reach a broader audience and accommodate larger crowds, particularly for blockbuster matches and finals series games.
    • Occasional Games at Marvel Stadium: In addition to the MCG, Collingwood also plays occasional home games at Marvel Stadium (formerly known as Docklands Stadium). Marvel Stadium offers a retractable roof and modern facilities, providing a different atmosphere for matches.
  3. Legacy of Victoria Park:
    • Memorial and Redevelopment: Although no longer used for AFL matches, Victoria Park remains a significant site in Collingwood’s history. The ground has been redeveloped into a community precinct, featuring sports facilities, parks, and a social housing project.
    • Heritage: The heritage-listed grandstand at Victoria Park stands as a reminder of its historical importance to Collingwood and Australian rules football.

Overall, Victoria Park played a crucial role in shaping Collingwood Football Club’s identity and success during its formative years. While the club has moved on to larger venues like the MCG and Marvel Stadium, the spirit of Victoria Park continues to resonate within the Collingwood community and among its passionate supporters.

Premiership Success

Collingwood Football Club has won a total of 15 VFL/AFL premierships. Here is a list of their grand final victories:

  • 1902: Collingwood defeated Essendon
  • 1903: Collingwood defeated Fitzroy
  • 1910: Collingwood defeated Carlton
  • 1917: Collingwood defeated Fitzroy
  • 1919: Collingwood defeated Richmond
  • 1927: Collingwood defeated Richmond
  • 1928: Collingwood defeated Richmond
  • 1929: Collingwood defeated Richmond
  • 1930: Collingwood defeated Geelong
  • 1935: Collingwood defeated South Melbourne
  • 1936: Collingwood defeated South Melbourne
  • 1953: Collingwood defeated Geelong
  • 1958: Collingwood defeated Melbourne
  • 1990: Collingwood defeated Essendon
  • 2010: Collingwood drew with St Kilda in the Grand Final and won the replay

These premierships highlight Collingwood’s historical success and its status as one of the most celebrated clubs in the history of Australian rules football. 

Finals Appearances

Collingwood Football Club has played in a total of 44 VFL/AFL Grand Finals. This includes their 15 premiership victories and the following additional appearances in Grand Finals where they did not secure the premiership:

  • 1896: Lost to Fitzroy
  • 1898: Lost to Fitzroy
  • 1901: Lost to Essendon
  • 1905: Lost to Fitzroy
  • 1906: Lost to Carlton
  • 1915: Lost to Carlton
  • 1920: Lost to Richmond
  • 1922: Lost to Fitzroy
  • 1925: Lost to Geelong
  • 1937: Lost to Geelong
  • 1938: Lost to Carlton
  • 1952: Lost to Geelong
  • 1960: Lost to Melbourne
  • 1964: Lost to Melbourne
  • 1966: Lost to St Kilda
  • 1970: Lost to Carlton
  • 1977: Lost to North Melbourne
  • 1979: Lost to Carlton
  • 1980: Lost to Richmond
  • 1981: Lost to Carlton
  • 1984: Lost to Essendon
  • 2002: Lost to Brisbane Lions
  • 2003: Lost to Brisbane Lions
  • 2011: Lost to Geelong

These appearances in the Grand Finals showcase Collingwood’s consistent competitiveness and their status as one of the powerhouse clubs in Australian rules football history.

Collingwood Football Club has a strong focus on community engagement and social responsibility. The club runs various programs aimed at promoting inclusivity, diversity, and youth development, reflecting its commitment to making a positive impact beyond the football field.

Collingwood Football Club’s long-standing presence in Australian rules football, coupled with its success on the field and strong community ties, has solidified its place as an iconic and influential institution in Australian sport.

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