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Collingwood Football Club, officially nicknamed The Magpies, is an Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League.

The players wear black and white striped guernseys, similar to the colours of a magpie; emblazoned with the magpie emblem and the motto "Floreat Pica" ("Flourish Magpies", or "May the Magpies prosper!").

The club traditionally represented the working class inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwoodmarker; however it has now moved its training and administration base to Gosch's Paddock and the Lexus Centre at Olympic Park in Melbournemarker. They moved their home games from their traditional suburban home ground, Victoria Parkmarker, to the much larger Melbourne Cricket Groundmarker from 2000.

Traditional Melbourne suburban rivalries Essendon, Richmond and Carlton remain fierce. Collingwood has gained interstate rivals, particularly in Port Adelaide and Brisbanemarker, but has retained the reputation in the national competition as the "team everybody loves to hate".

Collingwood have consistently attracted much higher than average crowds and to their games than other Victorian clubs in the league. In 1970, 121,696 spectators watched Collingwood and Carlton contest the Grand Final, the record attendance for a football game of any code in Australia. Collingwood currently boasts 44,462 members and the second largest membership base of the 10 Victorian clubs. As a result, several of the league's annual blockbuster matches, including the Anzac Day clash and the Queen's Birthday Clash feature Collingwood. Due to the club's crowd pulling power, on several occasions the AFL has been accused of favouring Collingwood when scheduling the fixture to maximise the league's attendance figures.

In the past, a large proportion of Collingwood supporters were Roman Catholics and were known as "The Catholic Club" in years gone by. The average crowd at Collingwood home games in 2007 was 54,898.

The noted Australian playwright David Williamson scripted The Club, a play inspired by the internal politics of Collingwood, although "the club" is never actually specified in the play or film. A film version was made in 1980 and features Collingwood players in speaking and non-speaking roles.


Formation and early years

The Collingwood Football Club was born on the cusp of one of the world's worst depressions in February 1892. Collingwood played its first game in the Victorian Football Association (VFA), the premier football competition at the time, against Carlton Football Club on 7 May 1892. The club won the VFA premiership in 1896.

In 1897, Collingwood, along with fellow VFA clubs Fitzroy, Melbourne, St Kilda, Carlton, Essendon, South Melbourne and Geelong split from the VFA and formed the VFL (Victorian Football League). Despite being the youngest club it did not take long for the Magpies to establish themselves on the new football landscape.

During the 1920s and 1930s Collingwood was the most successful club and, by 1936, it had won 11 premierships in the first 40 years of the VFL competition. The club achieved many things including winning a record four premierships in a row from 1927 to 1930, an undefeated season in 1929, a Brownlow medalist and the longest ever serving coach, Jock McHale, who played for Collingwood from 1902 to 1921 and coached from 1912 to 1949.

Recent history

The 1990 premiership team, coached by Leigh Matthews and captained by Tony Shaw, had a one-sided grand final win against Essendon, the Magpies recording a 48 point victory and ending a 32 year premiership drought which included eight grand final losses and one draw.

After this, however, the club lapsed into a state of decline; their status as a potential powerhouse at the beginning of the decade was reduced with each passing season and the club ultimately earned a second wooden spoon in 1999. Within a few years, with a change of coach, playing list and club president, Collingwood reached consecutive grand finals in 2002 and 2003 losing both to the Brisbane Lions.
Collingwood's Home and Clash Jumpers


Collingwood supporters celebrating a goal

Year Members Finishing position
1984 16,313 3rd
1985 16,857 7th
1986 13,971 6th
1987 9,500 12th
1988 11,985 4th
1989 13,620 5th
1990 14,806 1st
1991 18,469 7th
1992 18,921 5th
1993 21,882 8th
1994 20,843 8th
1995 22,543 10th
1996 20,752 11th
1997 22,761 10th
1998 27,099 14th
1999 32,358 16th
2000 28,932 15th
2001 31,455 9th
2002 32,549 2nd
2003 40,445 2nd
2004 41,128 13th
2005 38,612 15th
2006 38,038 7th
2007 38,587 4th
2008 42,392 5th
2009 46,430 4th

Off field

Collingwood was one of the last clubs to abandon its traditional stadium, the famous inner-city Victoria Parkmarker. Collingwood now plays home games at the MCGmarker. It now also has its headquarters situated in the former Glasshouse Entertainment Centre which is now called "The Lexus Centre". This building is also shared with the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS).

Collingwood continues to be financially viable through the loyal support of its huge following and numerous sponsors. After finishing 2nd in 2002 and 2003 the team fell to 13th and 15th (out of 16) in 2004 and 2005 respectively. This trend has plagued the club since the glory days of pre-World War II VFL football. Since 1958, the club has won only a single VFL/AFL Premiership (the inaugural AFL Premiership in 1990) making them one of the least successful clubs in the modern era. Despite this, the club still has won more individual games, more finals and made more grand-final appearances than any other Victorian club prior to the AFL.

On 9 March 2007, former Collingwood and Fitzroy defender Gary Pert was appointed the Magpies' CEO, seven weeks after Greg Swann departed for Carlton. In accepting the key Magpie post, Pert quit as a club director and as managing director of Channel 9 in Melbourne. In a press conference, it was stated that Collingwood has budgeted to turnover about $50 million this year. McGuire hopes the new administration will soon double that figure. "A finance administration review has come up with how we are going to turn Collingwood in to its next phase of its life", McGuire said. "What do we do to make ourselves go from a $45 million a year turnover business to a $100 million turnover business? "They sound like big figures but in 1999 we turned over $13 million, so that is where we are heading as a football club."


Collingwood is arguably a fierce rival of each of the other 15 teams in the competition, due to its name, supporters and history. Carlton is the club's most bitter arch rival, with Essendon not far behind. Following this, rivalries with Richmond and Melbourne have faded slightly of late due to the fact that the teams have not enjoyed onfield success at the same time; however, the feeling of resentment still lingers.The rivalry between the Magpies and Demons was at its hottest between 1955 and 1964, when the two played off in the Grand Final on five occasions, the Magpies managing to hold Melbourne from equalling the club's record of four premierships in succession from 1927-1930 in 1958. The club's two opponents in the themed Rivalry Rounds staged to date have been Carlton (2005-2006) and Richmond (2007-2008). In recent times, rivalries have been sparked with the new interstate clubs, including Port Adelaide, and Brisbane, though it can be argued that the Lions were still major adversaries of the Magpies in their guise as Fitzroy.

The rivalry with Port Adelaide stems from the fact that the Power were also known as the Magpies in their local SANFL competition before switching to the Power when fielding a team in the AFL in 1997 (the Port Adelaide Magpies remain in the SANFL today). Feelings were heightened when Port midfielder Kane Cornes 'flipped the bird' at Nick Davis following the Power's close fought five point victory over the Magpies at AAMI Stadiummarker in round nine, 2002, only moments after Anthony Rocca had missed the opportunity to tie the scores. Jarrod Molloy and Brodie Holland remonstrated with Cornes after the match, with a feeling of hostility lingering after the two sides had left the field. Collingwood managed to pip the Power in the Qualifying Final later in the season in a boilover at the same venue, before repeating the dose at the MCG in the 2003 Preliminary Final, heating up the choking phenomenon directed at the Power which is ironic given Collingwood's inability to win Grand Finals. To add to the feeling between the two clubs, the off-field battle over Port's desire to wear Black and White stripes was a major talking point between 2002 and 2007, when a resolution was reached to the favour of Collingwood.

Brisbane, meanwhile, first registered on Collingwood's rivalry list in 1999, when they thumped the Magpies in the final fixture at Victoria Parkmarker. A tense three-point victory over the reigning premiers in front of a packed Colonial Stadium in round 8, 2002 took the Magpies to the top of the league table. Hostilities were renewed in that season's Grand Final, the Lions holding off a brave Collingwood by nine points on a wet afternoon. The situation became even more prominent the following season, when the two clubs clashed on four occasions. The Lions staved off the Magpies at the Gabba in round four before thrashing them in Heritage Round in round 19. Collingwood got its own back in the Qualifying Final, when Alan Didak broke the deadlock late in the final term, with two superb goals from the boundary line. However, it was the Lions who had the final say, walloping Collingwood in the Grand Final. This match was so tense that one Sydney-based Magpies fan even suffered a stroke during the 3/4 break. In 2004's Grand Final, Brisbane, playing against Port Adelaide, threatened to equal Collingwood's record of four premierships in a row, resulting in many Collingwood fans being forced to put aside the Port Adelaide rivialry on the day, even wearing the Black and White colours in temporary support of Port.

The Lions battered and bruised the injury-riddled Magpies throughout 2004 and 2005, but Collingwood got its own back in round 10, 2006, (obviously only a moot point after Bribane's defeat of Collingwood in the 2002 and 2003 Grand Finals) six Nathan Buckley goals breaking the Lions backs under the Saturday night lights of the MCG. The night signalled the end of Blake Caracella's playing career, crunched by former teammate Tim Notting in the second term, very nearly paralysing the Magpie forward. After Collingwood won its first match in Queensland since 1995 in round 9, 2007, the Lions again had the final say, Jared Brennan's seven goals piloting a 15-goal pasting of the Magpies in round 17.

Games between Collingwood and Geelong have become highly anticipated since 2007. In round 15 Geelong beat Collingwood by 16 points in a high-quality match. In the Preliminary final, however, Collingwood surprised many when they came within 5 points of the eventual premiers. During the match Geelong forward Cameron Mooney was awarded an just goal after Collingwood defender James Clement was controversially said to have deliberately knocked the ball out of play. Collingwood took revenge the next year, however, when they thrashed Geelong by 86 points- 20.14 (134)- 7.6 (48) and handed Geelong their only loss of the year to deny them equalling the record of going undefeated for a regular season. This record remains solely with Collingwood in 1929.



VFA: (1)



  • Seniors: (14)


  • Reserves: (7)
1919 1920 1922 1925 1940 1965 1976

  • Under 19s: (4)
1960 1965 1974 1986

  • Pre-Season/Night Series Premierships: (1)


  • Lightning Premierships: (2)

1941 1951


  • Runners Up: (25) Record

  • Undefeated In the Home and Away Season
1929 *18 Rounds


Current playing list

Squad changes for 2010


  • Lachlan Keefe (pre-selected rookie as per AFL's non-registered players rule)
  • Scott Reed (NSW scholarship rookie selection)


Individual awards

Best and Fairest

Brownlow Medal winners

Champions of the colony

Leigh Matthews Trophy winners

Coleman Medal winners

Norm Smith Medal winners

E.J Whitten Medalists

Mark of the Year winners

Goal of the Year winners

Anzac Day Medal winners

Jason McCartney Medal winners

Bob Rose-Charlie Sutton Medal winners

All Australians

Australian International Rules Representatives

Notable records

  • Greatest winning margin: 178 points R4, 1979 (VP) - Collingwood 31.21 (207) v St Kilda 3.11 (29)

Records set by players

  • Most consecutive matches: Jock McHale - 191 (1906-1917) - VFL record until 1943

  • Most goals kicked in a match: Gordon Coventry - 17 goals 4 behinds (R12, 1930, VP)

  • Most Best & Fairests: Nathan Buckley - 6 (1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003)

  • Most matches as coach: Jock McHale - 714 (1912-1949)¹

  • Most matches as captain/acting captain: Nathan Buckley - 162 (1999-2006)

  • Most goals by a single person: Gordon Coventry - 1299 (1920-1937) - VFL/AFL record until 1999

Team of the Century

Collingwood announced its team of the century on 14 June 1997, celebrating 100 years since the beginning of the VFL. Gavin Brown was added as the 4th interchange player in 2002, as when the team was named in 1997, only three interchange players were permitted on a team.


  • This list comprises every captain of the club. This list doesn't include deputy captains filling in due to an injury to the named captain, but does include captains named after a player retires or steps down during the season.

Club song

"Good Old Collingwood Forever" is the official anthem of the Collingwood Football Club. It is sung to the tune of "Goodbye Dolly Grey".

LYRICS:Good old Collingwood foreverThey know how to play the game (Two, three, four)Side by side they stick togetherTo uphold the Magpies name (Cor blimey!)

See the barrackers are shoutingAs all barrackers shouldOh, the premiership's a cake walkFor the good old Collingwood!

Collingwood in the VFA/VFL

From 2000 to 2007 Collingwood was associated with the Williamstown Football Club. However, the desire by Collingwood to re-establish a VFL Collingwood side in 2007 saw the end of that association. As of 2008 Collingwood did just that and is the first AFL team to return fully to VFA/VFL competition. Home matches are played at Princes Park, with three to be played at Victoria Parkmarker in 2009.

The Collingwood Football club recently announced that they had reached an agreement with the Yarra City Council for the clubs VFL side to play all the home games at Victoria Park during their 2010 season.

Collingwood in popular culture

  • David Williamson's 1977 stage play, The Club, was inspired by the backroom dealings and antics of the Collingwood Football Club; although Collingwood is never mentioned by name. The 1980 film version of the play — directed by Bruce Beresford and starring John Howard, Jack Thompson, Graham Kennedy and Frank Wilson[13573] — is set at Collingwood, and featured Collingwood players in speaking and non-speaking roles. The film was almost entirely shot on location at Victoria Park, both inside and on the actual oval.

See also


  1. Note that term "Pica" refers to the European Magpie in the genus Pica. However the club badge depicts an Australian Magpie, an unrelated bird in the genus Cracticus.
  2. Another classic Sheedy moment
  3. Richmond - Sleeping Giants of the AFL
  4. Hall trains and is ready for Pies
  5. as of May 14, 2009
  9. Membership.html
  10. The Illustrated Collingwood Encyclopedia, Glenn McFarlane and Michael Roberts, 2004
  11. Collingwood Forever, Gavin Brown, 1997
  12. A Century Of The Best, Michael Roberts p.viii pub:1991
  13. A Century Of The Best, Michael Roberts p.x pub:1991
  14. Team of the Century
  15. McFarlane, G. & Roberts, M., The Illustrated Collingwood Encyclopedia, 2004; Brown, G., Collingwood Forever, 1997.

External links

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