Melbourne Cricket Ground - Melbourne Football Club
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Melbourne Football Club

Melbourne's Lynden DunnNo football club has had a richer history at the MCG than Melbourne. As the pioneer club of Australian football, Melbourne's connection with the MCG dates back to the formation of the game in 1858.

In these formative years, Melbourne was the dominant force of the competition and was known as the 'invincible whites' playing many of their games on the MCG until 1873, when the MCC banned football from the arena because of damage caused.

Since the start of the VFL in 1897, Melbourne has played more games than any other club on the hallowed MCG turf.

Up to the start of the 2012 season, Melbourne had played a total of 1118 matches at the ground for 589 wins, 520 losses and nine draws.

The Demons now share home ground privileges with Richmond, Collingwood and Hawthorn.

Despite having the MCG as its home ground it wasn't until 1926 that Melbourne tasted glory in an MCG Grand Final. Led by Brownlow Medallist Ivor Warne-Smith, the Fuschias (as they were then known) ran away to a 57-point victory against Collingwood.

The club's next success in 1939 also came at the expense of the Magpies, and was followed by two more victories in '40 and '41. The Second World War then disrupted the club's attempts at a record-equalling four straight premierships as RAAF and American military personnel took up camp at the MCG.

It didn't take long for the club to build up again, and in 1948 Melbourne played in the first-ever drawn Grand Final. Under the guidance of retiring coach 'Checker' Hughes, the Demons returned a week later to defeat Essendon by 39 points in the replay.

This victory was a precursor of the enormous success the club was to have in the 1950s and early 1960s. After losing the '54 grand final, Melbourne - led by the legendary Ron Barassi - won three consecutive flags in '55, '56 and '57, lost in '58, then won again in '59 and '60.

Widely regarded as one of the finest teams to grace the MCG soil, only miserable weather and the physical presence of the Magpies in 1958 prevented them from winning six in a row.

The Demons went to the top of the heap again in 1964 when they faced old foe Collingwood and triumphed in an epic match by four points.

Had Demons fans had any idea of the drought that was to follow, they would have celebrated long and hard that night. They were not to reach another Grand Final until 1988, and then made another unsuccessful tilt at the flag in 2000.

If ever a team is to break that drought, it may be the current crop of young Demons, who have shown a will to work hard and be disciplined.

Never was this more evident than the 2000 Qualifying Final against Carlton. Melbourne produced one of the more remarkable finals comebacks seen on the MCG in many years.

After being pounded by the Blues earlier in the season, you could have forgiven the Dees for lying down when trailing by 31 points in the third quarter. But in front of 75,000 fans and led by their younger brigade, Melbourne fought back and won the game by nine points.

Hopes are still high for the Demons, who play 13 matches at the 'G in 2012 under new coach Mark Neeld. Who knows - one day they may just break the drought and regain their place as kings of the MCG.

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