AFL TeamsHawthorn Hawks

The History Of The Hawthorn

Exploring the Rise Of Hawthorn Hawks

The History Of The Hawthorn Football Club (also known as the Hawks) is located in Melbourne, Victoria. The 1902-founded club is the youngest team in the Victorian AFL. It has won 13 VFL/AFL championships. The club is the only one to have won a premiership in every decade from 1960’s through 2010’s.

The Hawks originated in Hawthorn, a suburb in inner-east Melbourne. They also had a social club and former administrative base at Glenferrie Oval. However, matches haven’t been played at the Glenferrie Oval since 1973. Hawthorn relocated its training and administrative facilities to Waverley Park in 2006.

Hawthorn has played four matches a year since 2007 at York Park, their second home ground in Launceston (Tasmania), with the rest of the games being played at the MCG. Hawthorn is currently affiliated with the Box Hill Hawks Football Club, a Victorian Football League (VFL).

The History Of The Hawthorn
The History Of The Hawthorn

The Hawthorn Club Song is called “We’re A Happy Team At Hawthorn”. It is sung in the tune “The Yankee Doodle Boy”, which George M. Cohan wrote for his 1904 Little Johnny Jones musical. Johnny Jones, a patriotic US jockey who competes in England is the main character of Little Johnny Jones. Yankee Doodle Dandy, a wartime musical from 1942, featured the song. Chick Lander adapted the song in 1956 with new Hawthorn words.

Hawthorn’s official club song:

We’re a happy team at Hawthorn
We’re the Mighty Fighting Hawks.
We love our Club, and we play to win,
Riding the bumps with a grin (at Hawthorn).
Come what may, you’ll find us striving
Team work is the thing that talks,
One for all and all for one
Is the way we play at Hawthorn.
We are the Mighty Fighting Hawks.

During its formative years in the Victorian Football League (VFL) from 1925 to the 1950s, Hawthorn encountered significant challenges, frequently finding itself at the lower rungs of the league ladder. Despite these on-field struggles, the club persisted in laying down roots and forging a strong identity within Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. This period was crucial in cultivating a loyal fan base that would become the bedrock of support for Hawthorn through thick and thin. As they navigated the early stages of their VFL journey, Hawthorn’s commitment to growth both on and off the field laid the foundation for future successes and cemented their place in the fabric of Australian rules football.

From 1961 to 1991, Hawthorn Football Club experienced a triumphant era that solidified its place among Australian rules football’s elite. Under the guidance of coach John Kennedy Sr., the 1960s marked Hawthorn’s ascent to prominence, culminating in their maiden VFL premiership in 1961. Throughout the subsequent decades, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, the club reached unprecedented heights of success under the leadership of legendary coach Allan Jeans. Key players such as Leigh Matthews, Dermott Brereton, and Jason Dunstall emerged as pivotal figures, contributing significantly to Hawthorn’s dominance on the field. Their achievements included a remarkable ‘three-peat’ of premierships in 1983, 1986, and 1989, a feat that established Hawthorn as a powerhouse in the league and cemented their legacy as one of the most successful clubs in Australian rules football history.


The Hawthorn Hawks, a revered entity in Australian rules football, call Hawthorn, a suburb nestled in Melbourne’s inner-east, their home. Situated approximately 6 kilometres east of Melbourne’s bustling central business district, Hawthorn encapsulates the essence of community and sporting tradition. Since its establishment in 1902, the Hawthorn Football Club has been an integral part of this vibrant suburb’s fabric, providing locals and fans alike with thrilling matches and cherished moments on the field. From its early days at Glenferrie Oval to its dominance at Waverley Park and now its frequent appearances at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Hawthorn has not only shaped its own storied history but has also etched a lasting imprint on the cultural landscape of Melbourne. The club’s passionate supporter base, known as the ‘Hawthorn Faithful’, continues to gather in numbers, embodying the spirit and pride that resonate throughout Hawthorn and beyond.

Home Stadium of the Hawthorn Hawks

Waverley Park Hawthorn Home Stadium
Waverley Park Hawthorn Home Stadium

The Hawthorn Hawks primarily play their home games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), one of Australia’s most iconic sporting venues. Located in Melbourne, Victoria, the MCG is renowned for its historical significance and capacity to host major events, including Australian rules football matches, cricket matches, and other significant sporting and cultural events.

Historically, Hawthorn has had other home grounds, including Glenferrie Oval in Hawthorn and Waverley Park in Mulgrave. Glenferrie Oval served as the club’s original home ground from its inception until the 1970s, while Waverley Park, known as VFL Park during Hawthorn’s tenure, was a purpose-built stadium that became synonymous with the club’s success in the 1980s and early 1990s.

However, since the late 1990s and particularly during their recent successful periods, Hawthorn has predominantly used the Melbourne Cricket Ground as their main home ground due to its larger capacity and central location in Melbourne. The MCG’s capacity to hold over 100,000 spectators ensures that Hawthorn fans and supporters can gather en masse to cheer on their team during important matches, including finals and blockbuster games against other top teams in the Australian Football League (AFL).

The Hawthorn Hawks Premiership Success 

the Hawthorn Hawks have won a total of 13 VFL/AFL premierships. Here is a breakdown of their grand final victories:

  1. 1961: Defeated Footscray
  2. 1971: Defeated St Kilda
  3. 1976: Defeated North Melbourne
  4. 1978: Defeated North Melbourne
  5. 1983: Defeated Essendon
  6. 1986: Defeated Carlton
  7. 1988: Defeated Melbourne
  8. 1989: Defeated Geelong
  9. 1991: Defeated West Coast Eagles
  10. 2008: Defeated Geelong
  11. 2013: Defeated Fremantle
  12. 2014: Defeated Sydney Swans
  13. 2015: Defeated West Coast Eagles
Hawthorn Hawks Players
Hawthorn Hawks Players

These premierships span across different eras, showcasing Hawthorn’s ability to achieve success and establish themselves as one of the most successful clubs in the history of Australian rules football.

The Hawthorn Hawks Finals Appearances

Hawthorn Hawks have played in a total of 83 final matches in the history of the Victorian Football League (VFL) and the Australian Football League (AFL). This includes finals appearances from their inception in 1925 through to recent years. These finals matches encompass both qualifying finals, elimination finals, semi-finals, preliminary finals, and grand finals, reflecting Hawthorn’s consistent presence in the upper echelons of Australian rules football and their status as a perennial contender for premiership success.

10 List of Hawthorn Hawks Recent Finals Appearances

  • 2021 – Qualifying Final: Lost to Melbourne
  • 2020 – Elimination Final: Lost to Bulldogs
  • 2019 – Elimination Final: Lost to Bulldogs
  • 2018 – Elimination Final: Lost to Demons
  • 2016 – Grand Final: Lost to Bulldogs
  • 2016 – Preliminary Final: Defeated Cats
  • 2016 – Semi Final: Defeated Eagles
  • 2016 – Qualifying Final: Lost to Cats
  • 2015 – Grand Final: Defeated West Coast
  • 2015 – Preliminary Final: Defeated Fremantle

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