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Carlton Football Club

The Carlton Football Club, nicknamed The Blues for their dark blue playing colors, is one of the oldest, richest, and most successful Australian rules football clubs. Formed in 1864, it originally played in the Victorian Football Association competition, and was one of the formation members of the breakaway Victorian Football League in 1897, which became the Australian Football League in the 1980s.

Based at the Princes Park oval (currently officially named Optus Oval in a sponsorship deal) in northern Carlton, the club has played in many, many finals series. The suburb combines the academic air of the nearby University of Melbourne with a large quotient of immigrants from Southern Europe, and both groups still leave their mark on the Carlton supporter base.

Their fiercest rivals include the other members of the inner-suburban "big four" - Essendon, Richmond, and especially Collingwood, whose working-class supporter base, close geographic proximity, and many historic on-field (and occasional off-field) tussles mark the rivalry as the strongest in the game (but, in modern times at least, nothing like the religious and ethnic based battles that have occasionally plagued the Australian soccer league). One of the most famous clashes in VFL/AFL history took place at the 1970 Grand Final, in which the Blues turned around a 44-point half-time deficit into a 10-point victory, inventing modern football along the way.

The club underwent both off-field and on-field turmoil in 2002, when the club finished last for the first time in its history, and mounting losses and accounting irregularities finally caught up with club president John Elliott who was forced off the board by a vote of its members. Subsequently, it was revealed the club had been breaching AFL rules by paying its players over the "salary cap" - the club was then heavily fined and stripped of top picks in the annual player draft, casting doubt on the ability of the club to field competitive teams in the medium term.


1906, 1907, 1908, 1914, 1915, 1938, 1946, 1947, 1968, 1970, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1995.

Brownlow Medal winners:

Bert Deacon (1947) John James (1961) Gordon Collis (1964) Greg Williams (1986, 1994)