Collingwood AFL Football Club
Collingwood Football Club, is more than just another football club playing in the Australian Football League. Famously nicknamed the 'Magpies', Collingwood Football Club is the biggest, and the most popular club, with an enormous fan base today, was formed, during the world’s worst depression in 1892.
Representing Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, the club played its first game against Carlton Football Club in 1892 under Victorian Football Association. It won its first premiership in the VFA in 1896 and formed the Victorian Football League with other VFA clubs in the year 1896. By 1920, the Magpies had already kitted five premiership titles. The 1920’s and 1930’s were marked by the pre-dominance of Collingwood. It was during these years that the club meted with maximum success and won successive premiership titles from 1927 to 1930. The sterling success story was attributed to Brownlow Medallist and longest serving coach, Jack McHale who played for the club and also coached it 1912-1949.
The 1950’s was marked by rivalry between Melbourne club and Collingwood. The club won five premierships during this decade in the years 1953, 1954, 1958 and 1960. The 1958 win was particularly memorable because it saw Collingwwood scaling ever new heights. The premierships win in this year established Collingwood Football Club as the only one in the history of the game to have won four premiership titles in a row. And, this record remains broken until this day. However, this win was to be followed by a dry spell with the club facing successive defeats in the year to come. The 32 year premiership drought came to an end in 1990, when the club coached by Leigh Matthews and captained by Tony Shaw, registered a one sided grand final win against Essendon. After this however, the club’s performance declined and it withered from its position of being the most powerful clubs in Australian Football League.Until this day, Carlton and Essendon have been the bitterest arch-rivals for Collingon Football Club. Rivalries against Richmond and Melbourne also remain strong even though the on-field success faded for both the clubs in the recent years. With the advent of new clubs following the formation of Australian Football League, Collingwood Football Club had new opponents to face such as Port Adelaide, and Brisbane. While the club many have faced a performance decline in the past years, one has to acknowledge the huge fan following that the Collingwood Football Club enjoyed it its heyday and even today. The most supported and successful football club attracted higher than average crowds to its games.
The 1970 Grand Final between arch rivals Collingwood and Carlton was watched by a fever-pitch crowd of 121,696, a record attendance for any football game in Australia. It is also until this day the most watched football club in Australia and second most watched on television. The 2010 Collingwood games attracted 28 million viewers with over 1.7 million attending the Collingwood Games in 2010. The club also has the largest membership base of 70,000 which itself remains unbeaten.