On August 27, 1983 Kevin Bartlett played his 403rd and last game of VFL football at the MCG. It was also his 200th game at the ground, and he is still the only football player to achieve this feat.
To acknowledge the 30th anniversary of Bartlett’s unique milestone, the Melbourne Cricket Club Library has installed Making their Mark: The MCG’s Record Holders, an exhibition of items relating to Bartlett’s record, and other VFL/AFL records and record holders at the MCG.
The largest stadium in Australia has held football’s biggest attendances and, since the first match at the MCG in 1859, many individuals and teams have excelled here.
The home of football has hosted many extraordinary record breaking achievements.
Among these are Gary Ablett junior’s ground record 53 disposals as he captained the Gold Coast Suns to a 97 point loss in 2012. His father Gary Ablett senior kicked a MCG record 14 goals in a VFL/AFL match twice (John Longmire has also kicked 14 at the venue).
However, the record number of goals for a senior match at the MCG is 18 by Laurie Nash for Victoria against South Australia in 1934. Nash was not selected in the team initially but was a replacement for another player who withdrew.
Among objects exhibited are the MCG’s stile books that record the ground’s official attendance figures. These show the Australian record attendance at a football match of 121,696 for the 1970 grand final, as well as the home and away match record of 99,256 for the Queens Birthday holiday game between Melbourne and Collingwood in 1958.
Similarly John Longmire’s 14 goals are unofficially recorded by a supporter in a Football Record which is also on display. Matthew Richardson (most VFL/AFL career goals at the MCG), Hawthorn (highest score and greatest winning margins at the ground) and Norm Smith (most games coached at the venue) also feature in the exhibit.
The exhibition Making their Mark: The MCG’s Record Holders is on view on Level 3 of the MCC Members Reserve, outside the Library, until the close of the 2013 AFL season.
The exhibition has been curated by MCC deputy librarian – research, Trevor Ruddell, and MCC Library volunteers David Allen, Eric Panther, Quentin Miller, and Dennis Carroll, with the assistance of MCC volunteer quality officer Mary Deakin, and Col Hutchinson of the AFL.
View a list of items included in this exhibition