Melbourne MCG (circa 1907)

Melbourne Football Club

The Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Melbourne Football Club have always had a close affinity, since the MCG was first used for a charity football match, between the Melbourne Football Club and the Police, in 1869.

Melbourne and Carlton were the first two Association sides to play under lights at the MCG, in mid-August 1879, and from 1891, Melbourne played matches there on a regular basis after becoming a section of the Cricket Club in 1889 – a situation which prevailed until 1980, and saw Melbourne winning twelve premierships in 1900, 1926, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1948, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1960 and 1964.

The painting shows the MCG circa 1907, complete with the old Members’ Stand, dating from 1886, and demolished for the modern Pavilion in 1927. To the right is the ‘double deck’ northern stand, originally erected in 1884.

Lynda Carroll Club Historian.

Richmond Football Club

The Richmond Football Club was formed on 20 February 1885 at the Royal Hotel on Punt Road just opposite the oval. The club was entered in the Victorian Football Association (VFA). In 1908 Richmond Football Club joined the Victorian Football League (VFL) which was a stronger breakaway group.

The grandstand was built in 1913 for the Richmond Cricket Club which was formed in 1855. The official opening took place on 6 June 1914 by Andrew Fisher MHR (Prime Minister of Australia).

When it was first built it was 160 feet long, 41 feet wide and 40 feet high. It seated 1,200 people. Including drainage and sewerage the building cost £4,000.

On 14 May 1927 a second wing holding 400-500 people was added at a cost of £2,626-18-8. The public opening was held on 21 May the same year.

Vandals attempted to burn it down in the 1970s and as Richmond was now playing its matches at the MCG it remained in a dilapidated state for many years.

In 1996 a determined administration undertook the immense task of restoring the great building. On 23 March 1997 Jack Dyer Junior opened the building on his father’s behalf. The grandstand is now named “The Jack Dyer Stand’ after the great “Tiger’ legend.