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1909 VFL season

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Highest attendance  37,759
Start date  1909
Matches played  94
Leading Goalkicker Medallist  Dick Lee (Collingwood)
Teams  10
1909 VFL season
Premiers  South Melbourne (1st premiership)
Minor premiers  South Melbourne (1st minor premiership)
Similar  1912 VFL season, 1911 VFL season, 1904 VFL season, 1923 VFL season, 1924 VFL season

The 1909 Victorian Football League season was the 13th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.


Premiership season

In 1909, the VFL competition consisted of ten teams of 18 on-the-field players each, with no "reserves", although any of the 18 players who had left the playing field for any reason could later resume their place on the field at any time during the match.

Each team played each other twice in a home-and-away season of 18 rounds.

Once the 18 round home-and-away season had finished, the 1909 VFL Premiers were determined by the specific format and conventions of the amended "Argus system".


All of the 1909 finals were played at the MCG so the home team in the Semi Finals and Preliminary Final is purely the higher ranked team from the ladder but in the Grand Final the home team was the team that won the Preliminary Final.

Grand final

This was South Melbourne's first premiership after finishing runner up twice previously.


  • The 1909 VFL Premiership team was South Melbourne.
  • The VFL's leading goalkicker was Dick Lee of Collingwood with 58 goals.
  • St Kilda took the wooden spoon in 1909.
  • Notable events

  • In the second-round match against the University Football Club, badly concussed Richmond follower Bill Burns, who was about to leave for hospital, heard that Richmond was about to lose the match, returned to the field of play, took a mark, kicked the winning goal, and was carried off the ground on the his team mates' shoulders. Later in 1909, Burns was suspended for life after being found guilty of a kicking charge; however, the sentence was later reduced on appeal.
  • ^ In Round 6, St Kilda defeated Geelong on the field by one point, but the game was awarded to Geelong on protest after it was established that Billy Stewart, who played for St Kilda in that match, was under suspension for a striking in match in Bendigo the previous week. St Kilda had been aware that Stewart was suspended, but its defence against playing him was procedural: that although Stewart's suspension had been handed down on 3 June, it had not been formally communicated to the VFL until 6 June, one day after the match; but the League found that the suspension was valid for the dates specified by the Bendigo Football Association, and it did not need to have been communicated to the League for it to reciprocally valid. This is the only such forfeiture to have lasted in senior VFL/AFL history (other such forfeits have temporarily occurred in the seniors, but were later reversed on appeal).
  • In Round 7 against Geelong, Harry Brereton of Melbourne, in only his seventh game, became the first player to kick nine or more goals in a match since Jim McShane in 1899.
  • A Round 8 match between Fitzroy and Melbourne was marred by numerous incidents of foul play. Spectators were involved in a large brawl at the end of the game.
  • The Round 13 match between Carlton and Geelong saw the teams score an aggregate of 29.26 (200), the highest in VFL history to that time.
  • There were riots in the crowd after the Round 13 match between South Melbourne and Fitzroy.
  • An imminent on-field brawl between players from Collingwood and South Melbourne in their Round 14 match was averted when the appearance of a policeman on the ground calmed both teams down.
  • The Round 15 match between St Kilda and Geelong is the last VFL/AFL game as of 2012 in which no goals were scored in the second half. On a flooded Junction Oval, St Kilda kicked 0.7 to Geelong's 0.5 after half time.
  • University's draw with Collingwood in Round 16 was the closest that the Students got to defeating the Magpies in a League match.
  • A Collingwood spectator jumped the fence at the Round 18 match against Melbourne and punched a Melbourne player. Melbourne's Secretary, Mr. J.A. Harper, ran onto the field and made a citizens' arrest.
  • The Argus newspaper published the height, weight and occupation of each player in the finals for the first time.
  • References

    1909 VFL season Wikipedia

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