Hawthorn Football Club

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The Hawthorn Football Club, nicknamed The Hawks, is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League (AFL). They play in brown and gold vertically striped guernseys and the club song is We're a happy team at Hawthorn sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle.

The Hawks origins are in the inner Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn where they are based at Glenferrie Oval. Glenferrie Oval is an administrative and training base and social club only as home and away matches have not been played there since 1973.

Hawthorn was relatively late joining the Victorian Football League (VFL), the predecessor of the AFL, joining in 1925 with Footscray and North Melbourne from the Victorian Football Association (VFA). Hawthorn's origins date back much earlier however to its founding in 1873 at a meeting at the Hawthorne Hotel. The Mayblooms (The club's nickname changed from the Mayblooms or Mayflowers to Hawks in 1950) became the perennial whipping boys of the competition. Hawthorn broke through to their first finals appearance in 1957, and in 1961 they went one better, winning their first premiership by defeating Footscray.

In the 1970s Hawthorn had more success winning three flags. During the 1970s a strong rivalry grew with North Melbourne and they met in three grand finals with the Hawks prevailing twice. The 1976 flag was inspired by the illness of former vice-captain Peter Crimmins who passed away a week after the victory. Many of the Hawks greats such as the prolific goal-kicker Peter Hudson, rover Leigh Matthews and centre half-forward Peter Knights played through this era.

Their greatest era was undoubtedly the 1980s, where the team won four premierships and played in the grand final seven years in succession, including three in a row against Essendon. From 1983 they were in the finals for 13 years in a row. Their fast-paced style of play was copied by the West Coast Eagles who became the powerful club of the early 1990s. Other clubs have had success since but none have matched the dominance of the Hawks in this period. Leading players of the 1980s included Dermott Brereton, Gary Ayres, Michael Tuck, Jason Dunstall, Gary Buckenara, John Platten and Chris Langford.

Due to gentrification in the Hawks traditional areas of support in Melbourne's leafy eastern suburbs, the club realised they needed to broaden their supporter base to remain viable. In 1992 they moved their home games to Waverley Park in Mulgrave in Melbourne's south-east after previously sharing Princes Park with Carlton. To further strengthen their links with the area a second social club was established nearby at the Waverley Gardens shopping centre. The club, which operates as a gaming venue, has also been a lucrative source of revenue for the club.

Falling on-field and off-field fortune saw the club almost merge with Melbourne in 1996. The resulting club was to be known as the "Melbourne Hawks", unkindly dubbed by many as "The Dawks" - a fusion with the Melbourne nickname of "Demons". A groundswell of support led by former champion Don Scott scuttled the proposal however with Hawthorn members voting strongly against it. Melbourne members supported the merger by a narrow margin. The failure of the merger led to the resignation of the board and its replacement by a team led by businessman Ian Dicker.

The closure of Waverley Park in 1999 was a setback as Hawthorn could no longer play home games in the south-east region where they had developed a strong following. Home games were moved to the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Their relationship with the south-east will be rekindled however as in 2006 the Hawks will return to Waverley as a training and administration centre. The oval and a section of the Sir Kenneth Luke stand have been retained by developer Mirvac as part of their redevelopment of the Waverley site as a housing estate, largely as a result of a Victorian government commitment to keep football there. Mirvac leases the facility to Hawthorn for a peppercorn rent. Hawthorn will retain their social club and continue to also train at Glenferrie.


  • 1961 - Hawthorn 13.16 def. Footscray 7.9
  • 1971 - Hawthorn 12.10 def. St. Kilda 11.9
  • 1976 - Hawthorn 13.22 def. North Melbourne 10.10
  • 1978 - Hawthorn 18.13 def. North Melbourne 15.13
  • 1983 - Hawthorn 20.20 def. Essendon 8.9
  • 1986 - Hawthorn 16.14 def. Carlton 9.14
  • 1988 - Hawthorn 22.20 def. Melbourne 6.20
  • 1989 - Hawthorn 21.18 def. Geelong 21.12
  • 1991 - Hawthorn 20.19 def. West Coast 13.8

Brownlow Medal winners

External Link

Official Website of the Hawthorn Football Club (http://www.hawthornfc.com.au/)



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