MCG's hidden history revealed
Aug 22, 2011
Ever wondered what’s hidden behind-the-scenes at the Melbourne Cricket Ground?
On Monday August 22, the National Sports Museum launched its Hidden History of the MCG exhibition, uncovering many secrets of this famous venue.
This extraordinary exhibition brings the MCG to life like never before - revealing stories that have remained untold in our sporting history with a display of historic items, some of which are rarely available for public viewing.
Alongside tales of births and deaths in the stands, visitors will hear about the 1956 Olympic Games and the ground’s role as a war-time military base.
Some visitors may have personal recollections of the scoreboard that burst into flames as footballers ran onto the ground in 1999.
Hidden History of the MCG captures a variety of personal stories from staff, players, umpires and fans.
Visitors are invited to share their own stories of the MCG; the museum will collect these anecdotes and some may become part of the permanent exhibition. Other highlights include:
- A brass bell from the 19th century ship Lysander which was used to sound out football quarters as late as 1956.
- A receipt for a motorised lawnmower used on the hallowed turf as far back as 1917.
- An angry letter from an unnamed media personality, frustrated at not getting a good seat in the media box (1961).
- Rare photographs of the MCG in use by American troops during World War II.
- Programs for early events on the MCG, including high school athletics carnivals from 1870, lacrosse (1959) and baseball (1908), even a touring cricket team from Fiji in 1907-08.
Those with their own stories to share can record their MCG memories by phoning (03) 9657 5594 or by sending an email.
Entry to the "Hidden History of the MCG" exhibition is included in the National Sports Museum general admission price.