Since the first match was held in 1897, there have been 2491 VFL/AFL matches played at the MCG (as at the end of the 2011 AFL season).
This figure includes all home and away matches as well as 418 finals since the first match was held on May 15, 1897. On that day, Melbourne 9.10.64 defeated Geelong 3.1.19.
The First Qualifying Final between Essendon and Richmond Friday September 6, 2001 was the 2000th VFL/AFL match to be played at the MCG.
The 403-game Richmond legend Kevin Bartlett, unsurprisingly, holds the record for having played the most matches at the MCG. Another Tiger, Matthew Richardson, has kicked the most goals.
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We'd like to add some memorable AFL moments at the MCG from the years 2000-2009. If you have any suggestions,
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. For now, here's a snapshot from 1999 and earlier.
- The first game of VFL football on the MCG was between Melbourne 9.10.64 who defeated Geelong 3.1.19 on 15 May 1897.
- The best individual goal kicking performance in a VFL/AFL game at the MCG is 14 goals by Gary Ablett (Geelong) in round 9 1989 and round 6 1993 and by John Longmire (North Melbourne) in round 14 1990.
- In the 1909 Semi Final, in which South Melbourne defeated Collingwood, the Collingwood players were offered oxygen at half time. Only Jack Shorten accepted.
- In the 1910 Semi Final between South Melbourne 10.5.65 and Carlton 6.17.53, Jim Flynn of Carlton returned after two years out to become the oldest ever finals player. He was 39 years old.
- In the 1912 Grand Final, Essendon defeated South Melbourne and for the first time, brothers were in opposing teams. Alan Belcher played with Essendon while his brother Vic played with South Melbourne.
- On May 11, 1912, University 9.9.63 defeated Richmond 6.12.48. This was University's last win in League ranks. Fifty-one consecutive losses were to follow.
- In round 18, 1914 University lost to St Kilda. It was University's 51st consecutive defeat and its last league game.
- In the 1916 Semi Final between Fitzroy 9.9.63 and Collingwood 8.9.57, Jock McHale of Collingwood became the first man to play 250 matches (not all at the MCG).
- On October 2, 1920 Richmond defeated Collingwood in the Grand Final. Bill James of Richmond played in a premiership team in his only League match. This was a unique case.
- In round 10, 1921 Charlie Hardy of Essendon made his debut at the MCG in a loss to Melbourne. He was the oldest player on debut at 34 years of age.
- Arch rivals Melbourne and Collingwood tied in the 1928 Semi Final. The first tied finals match in League history and at the MCG. Collingwood won the replay.
- In the First Semi Final in 1935, Richmond defeated Carlton. Gordon Strang took 28 marks for the match.
- In the 1947 Grand Final, Carlton 13.8.86 defeated Essendon 11.19.85. In an exciting finish, Fred Stafford of Carlton snapped the winning goal late in the match.
- The first tied Grand Final was in 1948 when Melbourne 10.9.69 drew with Essendon 7.27.69. Melbourne went on to be premiers after a replay.
- In the First Semi Final in 1951 Essendon defeated Footscray. Prime Minister Robert Menzies intervened to allow National Serviceman Ted Whitten to play in the match.
- The 1953 Grand Final was a Collingwood victory over Geelong. It was also the only premiership where three brothers played in the same team. Bill, Mick and Pat Twomey were all in the Collingwood side.
- The 1954 Grand Final was Footscray's first and to date only League premiership.
- In the 1955 Grand Final, Melbourne 8.16.64 defeated Collingwood 5.6.36. Frank Adams (Melbourne) collided with Des Healy (Collingwood) late in the match. Both were knocked out.
- On Monday June 17, 1958 Melbourne defeated Collingwood in the round 10 clash. The game was played before a record home and away crowd of 99,346.
- In the 1960 Second Semi Final, which Melbourne won over Fitzroy, the Smith brothers Len (Fitzroy) and Norm (Melbourne) were opposing coaches.
- Grand Final Day 1960 saw Melbourne 8.14.62 overwhelm a hapless Collingwood 2.2. 14. Collingwood's score was the lowest in finals history.
- The 1964 Grand Final saw Melbourne 8.16.64 snatch victory from Collingwood 8.12.60. Ray Gabelich (Collingwood) scored a running goal late in the final quarter, but Neil Crompton (Melbourne) snapped the winning goal seconds later.
- In round 15, 1966 Collingwood defeated Richmond. The Magpie's Colin Tully scored a goal from the centre of the MCG with an 80-metre drop kick.
- The 1966 Grand Final resulted in a one-point victory to St. Kilda over Collingwood. Barry Breen of St. Kilda booted the winning behind late in the match.
- In the 1967 Second Semi Final Richmond 20.21.144 were too good for Carlton 14.17.101. Neville Crowe (Richmond) was reported for striking John Nicholls (Carlton). He was suspended for the Grand Final despite being innocent on the video film of the incident.
- On April 5, 1970 the first Sunday League match was played at the MCG. Fitzroy won the game against Richmond and Queen Elizabeth II watched the second half.
- In the First Semi Final in 1970, St Kilda 22.11.143 defeated South Melbourne 13.12.90. This was South Melbourne's first final for 25 years and Bob Skilton's only finals match.
- A memorable Grand Final occurred in 1970. Carlton came from behind to defeat Collingwood. Carlton won by 10 points after trailing by 44 points at half time. Alex Jesaulenko (Carlton) took the mark of the season over Graeme Jenkin (Collingwood) in front of an MCG record crowd of 121,696.
- In 1971, Hawthorn 12.10.82 won the flag over St. Kilda 11.9.75. In a tough encounter, Peter Hudson of Hawthorn missed a single chance to score a record 151 goals for the season.
- The 1972 Grand Final resulted in one of the highest aggregate scores in League history. Carlton 28.9.177 beat Richmond 22.18.150.
- In round 12 1974, Melbourne 11.13.79 were defeated by Carlton 15.18.108. This was the 1000th VFL/AFL game at the MCG.
- The 1975 Grand Final saw North Melbourne's first premiership. North defeated Hawthorn for their first flag after 50 years’ endeavour in the competition.
- The 1977 Grand Final was the second tied Grand Final when Collingwood 10.16.76 drew with North Melbourne 9.22.76. North Melbourne won the replay.
- In round 16, 1981 Geelong defeated Melbourne with Geelong player Peter Featherby having 43 kicks, 12 marks and eight handpasses.
- In round 19, 1983 Kevin Bartlett of Richmond became the first man to play 400 League matches.
- In round 1, 1985 Collingwood defeated North Melbourne in the first Friday night match for premiership points.
- Robert Flower made his first finals appearance in a 272-game career when Melbourne defeated North Melbourne in the 1987 Elimination Final on Sunday September 6.
- The 1990 Grand Final saw Collingwood 13.11.89 defeat Essendon 5.11.41 for the club's first premiership in 32 years.
- In 1992, West Coast won its first premiership in the AFL, over Geelong, at the MCG.
- The first night final at the MCG was a Qualifying Final in 1993 between Carlton 15.10.100 and Essendon 14.14.98.
- In round 1, 1995 Richmond defeated Fremantle. This was Fremantle's first League match.
- Round 9, 1996 and Jim Stynes of Melbourne records his 205th consecutive match, a League record.
- In round 1, 1997 Collingwood defeated newcomer Port Adelaide in their first League appearance.
- In round 22, 1999 the night game on August 27 between Richmond and Carlton was eventful. The scoreboard at the city end of the MCG caught fire and the match was delayed by 25 minutes.
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