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1916 Premiership

Season 1916 saw the first and only time in VFL history that a team had finished wooden-spooners and premiers in the same year.

The season was reduced to 12 weeks, with only Fitzroy, Carlton, Collingwood and Richmond participating after the other clubs dropped out due to the outbreak of war.

They played each other four times, with Fitzroy posting just two wins and a draw to finish last. Still, they qualified for the finals, and defied the odds to beat Collingwood by 16 points in the first final, and then eliminated minor premiers Carlton by 23 points.

The Blues had the right of ‘challenge’ and faced up a week later against a depleted Fitzroy side, without Jimmy Freake, Chris Lethebridge and Jim Toohey, in the grand final.

Former captain Hal McLennan came out of retirement to help strengthen the team and Fitzroy, playing with tremendous spirit, led all the way to win by 29 points. Roy Millen was voted best afield.


FITZROY 4.6 8.8 10.11 12.13 (85)
CARLTON 2.0 4.2 6.8 8.8 (56)

GOALS - Heaney 3, Parratt 3, O’Dee 2, Jenkin, Moore, Holden, Lowrie.
BEST - Millen, Johnson, Shaw, Norris, McLennan, Buist, Heaney, Parratt.
CROWD - 21,130 at the MCG


B Bob King Bert Lenne Fred Bamford
HB Edgar McDonald Wally Johnson (c) Lal McLennan
C Teddy Buist George Holden Roy Millen
HF Bert O'Dee Tom Heaney Percy Parratt
F Tom Lowrie Horrie Jenkin Teddy Purcell
FOLL Charlie Norris Fred Moore George Shaw
COACH Percy Parratt