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AFL Winners, Premiers and History - Who is the most successful Aussie Rules club?

  • List of the AFL champions and Grand Final results
  • Lowdown on the history on Australian Rules
  • Who has won the most titles?
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Essendon won the first-ever VFL premiership in 1897 when defeating Geelong to become the maiden champions of what we now know as AFL.

Richmond are the defending premiers after winning their 13th Premiership in 2020. The Tigers have won back-to-back titles having also been crowned champions in 2019.

Who are the most successful AFL and VFL clubs?


The Essendon Bombers and Carlton Blues and have each won 16 VFL/AFL premierships with the Collingwood Magpies next best with 15. The Hawthorn Hawks have won 13 premierships, Melbourne Demons and Richmond Tigers 12 followed by Geelong Cats on nine.

The Sydney Swans have won five premierships with North Melbourne Kangaroos and West Coast Eagles next best with four each.


AFL Winners & Grand Final Results


Year
Premiers
Runners-Up
Score
Venue
Attendance
2020 Richmond (13) Brisbane 12.9 (18) d. 7.8 (50) Gabba 29,707
2019 Richmond (12) Greater Western Sydney 17.12 (114) d. 3.7 (25) Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,014
2018 West Coast (4) Collingwood (27) 11.13 (79) d. 11.8 (74) Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,022
2017 Richmond (11) Adelaide 16.12 (108) d. 8.12 (60) Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,021
2016 Western Bulldogs (2) Sydney (12) 13.11 (89) d. 10.7 (67) Melbourne Cricket Ground 99,981
2015 Hawthorn (13) West Coast (3) 16.11 (107) d. 8.13 (61) Melbourne Cricket Ground 98,633
2014 Hawthorn (12) Sydney (11) 21.11 (137) d. 11.8 (74) Melbourne Cricket Ground 99,454
2013 Hawthorn (11) Fremantle 11.11 (77) d. 8.14 (62) Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,007
2012 Sydney (5) Hawthorn (6) 14.7 (91) d. 11.15 (81) Melbourne Cricket Ground 99,683
2011 Geelong (9) Collingwood (26) 18.11 (119) d. 12.9 (81) Melbourne Cricket Ground 99,537
2010 Collingwood (15) St Kilda (6) 9.14 (68) drew 10.8 (68) Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,016
2010 Collingwood (15) St Kilda (6) 16.12 (108) d. 7.10 (52) Melbourne Cricket Ground 93,853
2009 Geelong (8) St Kilda (5) 12.8 (80) d. 9.14 (68) Melbourne Cricket Ground 99,251
2008 Hawthorn (10) Geelong (9) 18.7 (115) d. 11.23 (89) Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,012
2007 Geelong (7) Port Adelaide 24.19 (163) d. 6.8 (44) Melbourne Cricket Ground 97,302
2006 West Coast (3) Sydney (10) 12.13 (85) d. 12.12 (84) Melbourne Cricket Ground 97,431
2005 Sydney (4) West Coast (2) 8.10 (58) d. 7.12 (54) Melbourne Cricket Ground 91,828
2004 Port Adelaide Brisbane Lions 17.11 (113) d. 10.13 (73) Melbourne Cricket Ground 77,671
2003 Brisbane Lions (3) Collingwood (25) 20.14 (134) d. 12.12 (84) Melbourne Cricket Ground 79,451
2002 Brisbane Lions (2) Collingwood (24) 10.15 (75) d. 9.12 (66) Melbourne Cricket Ground 91,817
2001 Brisbane Lions Essendon (14) 15.18 (108) d. 12.10 (82) Melbourne Cricket Ground 91,482
2000 Essendon (16) Melbourne (5) 19.21 (135) d. 11.9 (75) Melbourne Cricket Ground 96,249
1999 North Melbourne (4) Carlton (13) 19.10 (124) d. 12.17 (89) Melbourne Cricket Ground 94,228
1998 Adelaide (2) North Melbourne (5) 15.15 (105) d. 8.22 (70) Melbourne Cricket Ground 94,431
1997 Adelaide St Kilda (4) 19.11 (125) d. 13.16 (94) Melbourne Cricket Ground 99,645
1996 North Melbourne (3) Sydney (9) 19.17 (131) d. 13.10 (88) Melbourne Cricket Ground 93,102
1995 Carlton (16) Geelong (8) 21.15 (141) d. 11.14 (80) Melbourne Cricket Ground 93,670
1994 West Coast (2) Geelong (7) 20.23 (143) d. 8.15 (63) Melbourne Cricket Ground 93,860
1993 Essendon (15) Carlton (12) 20.13 (133) d. 13.11 (89) Melbourne Cricket Ground 96,862
1992 West Coast Geelong (6) 16.17 (113) d. 12.13 (85) Melbourne Cricket Ground 95,007
1991 Hawthorn (9) West Coast 20.19 (139) d. 13.8 (86) VFL Park 75,230
1990 Collingwood (14) Essendon (13) 13.11 (89) d. 5.11 (41) Melbourne Cricket Ground 98,944
1989 Hawthorn (8) Geelong (5) 21.18 (144) d. 21.12 (138) Melbourne Cricket Ground 94,796
1988 Hawthorn (7) Melbourne (4) 22.20 (152) d. 6.20 (56) Melbourne Cricket Ground 93,754
1987 Carlton (15) Hawthorn (5) 15.14 (104) d. 9.17 (71) Melbourne Cricket Ground 92,754
1986 Hawthorn (6) Carlton (11) 16.14 (110) d. 9.14 (68) Melbourne Cricket Ground 101,861
1985 Essendon (14) Hawthorn (4) 26.14 (170) d. 14.8 (92) Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,042
1984 Essendon (13) Hawthorn (3) 14.21 (105) d. 12.9 (81) Melbourne Cricket Ground 92,685
1983 Hawthorn (5) Essendon (12) 20.20 (140) d. 8.9 (57) Melbourne Cricket Ground 110,332
1982 Carlton (14) Richmond (12) 14.19 (103) d. 12.13 (85) Melbourne Cricket Ground 107,537
1981 Carlton (13) Collingwood (23) 12.20 (92) d. 10.12 (72) Melbourne Cricket Ground 112,964
1980 Richmond (10) Collingwood (22) 23.21 (159) d. 9.24 (78) Melbourne Cricket Ground 113,461
1979 Carlton (12) Collingwood (21) 11.16 (82) d. 11.11 (77) Melbourne Cricket Ground 113,545
1978 Hawthorn (4) North Melbourne (4) 18.13 (121) d. 15.13 (103) Melbourne Cricket Ground 101,704
1977 North Melbourne (2) Collingwood (20) 9.22 (76) drew 10.16 (76) Melbourne Cricket Ground 108,224
1977 North Melbourne (2) Collingwood (20) 21.25 (151) d. 19.10 (124) Melbourne Cricket Ground 98,366
1976 Hawthorn (3) North Melbourne (3) 13.22 (100) d. 10.10 (70) Melbourne Cricket Ground 110,143
1975 North Melbourne Hawthorn (2) 19.8 (122) d. 9.13 (67) Melbourne Cricket Ground 110,551
1974 Richmond (9) North Melbourne (2) 18.20 (128) d. 13.9 (87) Melbourne Cricket Ground 113,839
1973 Richmond (8) Carlton (10) 16.20 (116) d. 12.14 (86) Melbourne Cricket Ground 116,956
1972 Carlton (11) Richmond (11) 28.9 (177) d. 22.18 (150) Melbourne Cricket Ground 112,393
1971 Hawthorn (2) St Kilda (3) 12.10 (82) d. 11.9 (75) Melbourne Cricket Ground 118,192
1970 Carlton (10) Collingwood (19) 17.9 (111) d. 14.17 (101) Melbourne Cricket Ground 121,696
1969 Richmond (7) Carlton (9) 12.13 (85) d. 8.12 (60) Melbourne Cricket Ground 119,165
1968 Carlton (9) Essendon (11) 7.14 (56) d. 8.5 (53) Melbourne Cricket Ground 116,828
1967 Richmond (6) Geelong (4) 16.18 (114) d. 15.15 (105) Melbourne Cricket Ground 109,396
1966 St Kilda Collingwood (18) 10.14 (74) d. 10.13 (73) Melbourne Cricket Ground 101,655
1965 Essendon (12) St Kilda (2) 14.21 (105) d. 9.16 (70) Melbourne Cricket Ground 104,846
1964 Melbourne (12) Collingwood (17) 8.16 (64) d. 8.12 (60) Melbourne Cricket Ground 102,469
1963 Geelong (6) Hawthorn 15.19 (109) d. 8.12 (60) Melbourne Cricket Ground 101,452
1962 Essendon (11) Carlton (8) 13.12 (90) d. 8.10 (58) Melbourne Cricket Ground 98,385
1961 Hawthorn Footscray 13.16 (94) d. 7.9 (51) Melbourne Cricket Ground 107,935
1960 Melbourne (11) Collingwood (16) 8.14 (62) d. 2.2 (14) Melbourne Cricket Ground 97,457
1959 Melbourne (10) Essendon (10) 17.13 (115) d. 11.12 (78) Melbourne Cricket Ground 103,506
1958 Collingwood (13) Melbourne (3) 12.10 (82) d. 9.10 (64) Melbourne Cricket Ground 97,956
1957 Melbourne (9) Essendon (9) 17.14 (116) d. 7.13 (55) Melbourne Cricket Ground 100,324
1956 Melbourne (8) Collingwood (15) 17.19 (121) d. 6.12 (48) Melbourne Cricket Ground 115,803
1955 Melbourne (7) Collingwood (14) 8.16 (64) d. 5.6 (36) Melbourne Cricket Ground 88,053
1954 Footscray Melbourne (2) 15.12 (102) d. 7.9 (51) Melbourne Cricket Ground 80,897
1953 Collingwood (12) Geelong (3) 11.11 (77) d. 8.17 (65) Melbourne Cricket Ground 89,060
1952 Geelong (5) Collingwood (13) 13.8 (86) d. 5.10 (40) Melbourne Cricket Ground 81,304
1951 Geelong (4) Essendon (8) 11.15 (81) d. 10.10 (70) Melbourne Cricket Ground 84,109
1950 Essendon (10) North Melbourne 13.14 (92) d. 7.12 (54) Melbourne Cricket Ground 87,601
1949 Essendon (9) Carlton (7) 18.17 (125) d. 6.16 (52) Melbourne Cricket Ground 90,453
1948 Melbourne (6) Essendon (7) 10.9 (69) drew 7.27 (69) Melbourne Cricket Ground 85,658
1948 Melbourne (6) Essendon (7) 13.11 (89) d. 7.8 (50) Melbourne Cricket Ground 52,226
1947 Carlton (8) Essendon (6) 13.8 (86) d. 11.19 (85) Melbourne Cricket Ground 85,815
1946 Essendon (8) Melbourne 22.18 (150) d. 13.9 (87) Melbourne Cricket Ground 73,743
1945 Carlton (7) South Melbourne (8) 15.13 (103) d. 10.15 (75) Princes Park 62,986
1944 Fitzroy (8) Richmond (10) 9.12 (66) d. 7.9 (51) Junction Oval 43,000
1943 Richmond (5) Essendon (5) 12.14 (86) d. 11.15 (81) Princes Park 42,100
1942 Essendon (7) Richmond (9) 19.18 (132) d. 11.13 (79) Princes Park 49,000
1941 Melbourne (5) Essendon (4) 19.13 (127) d. 13.20 (98) Melbourne Cricket Ground 79,687
1940 Melbourne (4) Richmond (8) 15.17 (107) d. 10.8 (68) Melbourne Cricket Ground 70,330
1939 Melbourne (3) Collingwood (12) 21.22 (148) d. 14.11 (95) Melbourne Cricket Ground 78,110
1938 Carlton (6) Collingwood (11) 15.10 (100) d. 13.7 (85) Melbourne Cricket Ground 96,486
1937 Geelong (3) Collingwood (10) 18.14 (122) d. 12.18 (90) Melbourne Cricket Ground 88,540
1936 Collingwood (11) South Melbourne (7) 11.23 (89) d. 10.18 (78) Melbourne Cricket Ground 74,091
1935 Collingwood (10) South Melbourne (6) 11.12 (78) d. 7.16 (58) Melbourne Cricket Ground 54,154
1934 Richmond (4) South Melbourne (5) 19.14 (128) d. 12.17 (89) Melbourne Cricket Ground 65,335
1933 South Melbourne (3) Richmond (7) 9.17 (71) d. 4.5 (29) Melbourne Cricket Ground 75,754
1932 Richmond (3) Carlton (6) 13.14 (92) d. 12.11 (83) Melbourne Cricket Ground 69,724
1931 Geelong (2) Richmond (6) 9.14 (68) d. 7.6 (48) Melbourne Cricket Ground 60,712
1930 Collingwood (9) Geelong (2) 14.16 (100) d. 9.16 (70) Melbourne Cricket Ground 45,022
1929 Collingwood (8) Richmond (5) 11.13 (79) d. 7.8 (50) Melbourne Cricket Ground 63,336
1928 Collingwood (7) Richmond (4) 13.18 (96) d. 9.9 (63) Melbourne Cricket Ground 50,026
1927 Collingwood (6) Richmond (3) 2.13 (25) d. 1.7 (13) Melbourne Cricket Ground 34,551
1926 Melbourne (2) Collingwood (9) 17.17 (119) d. 9.8 (62) Melbourne Cricket Ground 59,632
1925 Geelong Collingwood (8) 10.19 (79) d. 9.15 (69) Melbourne Cricket Ground 64,288
1924 Essendon (6) Richmond (2) N/A N/A N/A
1923 Essendon (5) Fitzroy (5) 8.15 (63) d. 6.10 (46) Melbourne Cricket Ground 46,566
1922 Fitzroy (7) Collingwood (7) 11.13 (79) d. 9.14 (68) Melbourne Cricket Ground 50,054
1921 Richmond (2) Carlton (5) 5.6 (36) d. 4.8 (32) Melbourne Cricket Ground 43,122
1920 Richmond Collingwood (6) 7.10 (52) d. 5.5 (35) Melbourne Cricket Ground 53,908
1919 Collingwood (5) Richmond 11.12 (78) d. 7.11 (53) Melbourne Cricket Ground 45,413
1918 South Melbourne (2) Collingwood (5) 9.8 (62) d. 7.15 (57) Melbourne Cricket Ground 39,262
1917 Collingwood (4) Fitzroy (4) 9.20 (74) d. 5.9 (39) Melbourne Cricket Ground 25,512
1916 Fitzroy (6) Carlton (4) 12.13 (85) d. 8.8 (56) Melbourne Cricket Ground 21,130
1915 Carlton (5) Collingwood (4) 11.12 (78) d. 6.9 (45) Melbourne Cricket Ground 39,343
1914 Carlton (4) South Melbourne (4) 6.9 (45) d. 4.15 (39) Melbourne Cricket Ground 30,495
1913 Fitzroy (5) St Kilda 7.14 (56) d. 5.13 (43) Melbourne Cricket Ground 59,556
1912 Essendon (4) South Melbourne (3) 5.17 (47) d. 4.9 (33) Melbourne Cricket Ground 54,434
1911 Essendon (3) Collingwood (3) 5.11 (41) d. 4.11 (35) Melbourne Cricket Ground 43,905
1910 Collingwood (3) Carlton (3) 9.7 (61) d. 6.11 (47) Melbourne Cricket Ground 42,790
1909 South Melbourne Carlton (2) 4.14 (38) d. 4.12 (36) Melbourne Cricket Ground 37,759
1908 Carlton (3) Essendon (3) 5.5 (35) d. 3.8 (26) Melbourne Cricket Ground 50,261
1907 Carlton (2) South Melbourne (2) 6.14 (50) d. 6.9 (45) Melbourne Cricket Ground 45,477
1906 Carlton Fitzroy (3) 15.4 (94) d. 6.9 (45) Melbourne Cricket Ground 44,437
1905 Fitzroy (4) Collingwood (2) 4.6 (30) d. 2.5 (17) Melbourne Cricket Ground 30,000
1904 Fitzroy (3) Carlton 9.7 (61) d. 5.7 (37) Melbourne Cricket Ground 32,688
1903 Collingwood (2) Fitzroy (2) 4.7 (31) d. 3.11 (29) Melbourne Cricket Ground 32,263
1902 Collingwood Essendon (2) 9.6 (60) d. 3.9 (27) Melbourne Cricket Ground 35,202
1901 Essendon (2) Collingwood 6.7 (43) d. 2.4 (16) Lake Oval 30,031
1900 Melbourne Fitzroy 4.10 (34) d. 3.12 (30) East Melbourne Cricket Ground 20,181
1899 Fitzroy (2) South Melbourne 3.9 (27) d. 3.8 (26) Junction Oval 4,823
1898 Fitzroy Essendon 5.8 (38) d. 3.5 (23) Junction Oval 16,538
1897 Essendon Geelong N/A N/A N/A

AFL History 


Australian Rules originated in Melbourne, Australia in 1858. Australian Rules has a proud history with the Melbourne Football Club publishing the first laws of the game in May 1859, making it the oldest of the world’s major football codes.

The Victorian Football Association (VFA) was established in 1877 before a split in the game saw six of the strongest clubs - Collingwood, Essendon, Fitzroy, Geelong, Melbourne and South Melbourne - break away from the VFA. They invited Carlton and St Kilda to participate in the inaugural Victorian Football League (VFL) season in 1897.

The VFL's inaugural season made changes to the competition structure, namely including an annual finals tournament and establishing the modern scoring system where six points are awarded for a goal and one point for a behind.

In 1908 the VFL expanded to ten teams with the addition of Richmond and University Football Clubs. University were a disaster, finishing last in each season from 1911-14 and losing 51 consecutive matches in a row, forcing them to withdraw from the VFL at the end of 1914.

Footscray were the premiers of the VFA in 1924 and defeated VFL premiers Essendon in the Championship of Victoria. As a result Footscray, Hawthorn and North Melbourne gained entry into the VFL from the VFA in 1925.

Melbourne were dominant during the 1950s and early 1960s under legendary coach Norm Smith and influential midfielder Ron Barassi. The Demons qualified for seven consecutive grand finals between 1954 and 1960, winning five premierships including three in a row from 1955 to 1957.

The 1980s saw the structure of Australian football change around the country. The VFL was the most dominant state league and used their financial power to recruit top interstate players. Some of Victoria’s weaker clubs struggled to survive, with the South Melbourne Swans becoming the first VFL club to relocate interstate. 

South Melbourne renamed themselves the Sydney Swans in 1983 and became a successful team due to the private ownership of wealthy Dr Geoffrey Edelsten.

In 1986, the West Australian Football League and Queensland Australian Football League were awarded licences to establish teams in the VFL. This led to the creation of the West Coast Eagles and Brisbane Bears who joined the VFL in 1987.

The first National Draft was introduced in 1986 and a salary cap was introduced in 1987 which have remained since. In 1990 the competition's name was changed from the VFL to the Australian Football League (AFL) which reflected the introduction of interstate teams.

The West Coast Eagles won the AFL Grand Final in 1992 to become the first non-Victorian team to win an AFL premiership. The Adelaide Crows joined the AFL in 1991 and in 1994 the Fremantle Football Club was formed in Western Australia, joining the AFL in 1995.

Port Adelaide were awarded an AFL licence in 1994 but had to wait until Victorian team folded or merged. Fitzroy merged with Brisbane to form the Brisbane Lions at the end of 1996 which allowed Port Adelaide to enter the AFL for the 1997 season.

The 1990s saw many Melbourne-based teams move from smaller suburban venues to the larger MCG and Waverley Park. As such, the last matches were played at Windy Hill (Essendon), Moorabbin Oval (St Kilda), Western Oval (Footscray) and Victoria Park (Collingwood) with Princes Park abandoned by Hawthorn and then Carlton in 2005.

The AFL sold Waverley Park stadium in 1999 which facilitated the construction of a new stadium at Melbourne's Docklands. 

The AFL continued to expand with the introduction of the Gold Coast Suns in 2011 and Greater Western Sydney Giants in 2012. The first AFL match for premiership points was played in Shanghai, China on the 14th of May 2017 with Port Adelaide defeating the Gold Coast by 72 points.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic meant the majority of the season was played outside of Victoria with Richmond Tigers winning a second straight premiership in the first AFL Grand Final to be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.
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