Hawthorn Football Club, nicknamed The Hawks, are an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League (AFL) founded in 1902. They play in brown and gold vertically striped guernseys. The team's motto is 'spectemur agendo' loosely translated as 'let us be judged by our acts'.
The Hawks' origins are in the inner eastern Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn and, also, at Glenferrie Oval which is the club's former administrative and training base and social club. Matches have not been played there since 1973. Home matches were moved to Princes Park until 1991, then to Waverley Park and currently at the MCG. In 2006 they moved their training and administration from Glenferrie to Waverley Park - in the midst of the clubs supporter base in Melbourne's outer-eastern region. Since 2007 they have played four games a year at their second ground of Aurora Stadium in Launceston, Tasmania and the remaining seven home games are played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where the club remains a long-standing tenant. Hawthorn is the most successful club over the past 5 decades, having won a premiership in all, and are currently one of the form teams in the competition, in the midst of yet another successful era.
On the back of the failed 1996 Melbourne Hawks merger, the Hawthorn FC – under white knight Ian Dicker, looked to a new banner for a change of fortunes in 1997. The ‘New Hawks’ adopted a modernistic version of the pre existing ‘flying Hawk’ and was launched with the infamous ‘Proud, Passionate and Paid Up’ membership drive in 1997. The new logo was successful in drumming up support for the Hawks, as the club went from one of the lowest supported clubs to being the first club in Victoria to attract 30,000+ members in the space of only 2 years. Since then, the club has successfully retained a consistent level of support despite struggles on the field.
On Saturday the 6th of October 2007, President Jeff Kennett launched the clubs 4th logo in 30 years at a lavish function at Crown Casino. The new logo, which has striking similarities to the ‘Hawk Head’ of the 80’s and 90’s was a project of Cato Purnell Partners. In describing the logo, Cato has made reference to the eye and beak of the Hawk representing the ‘determination, pride, and focus’ of Hawthorn.
The official club history books and many supporters strongly believe that the club's origins date back to its founding in 1873 at a meeting at the Hawthorne Hotel. Although a Hawthorn Football Club did indeed form at this time and the region has since continuously been represented by a football team, it is unclear if it is related to the Hawthorn which competes at AFL level today. It is more likely that today's club is actually the third club to carry the name "Hawthorn Football Club". The Daily Telegraph Saturday May 12 1883:- "The Hawthorn Club having disbanded, all engagements for the ensuing season have been cancelled.". In 1889, the Riversdale Football Club (formed in 1880) is reported to have changed its name to the Hawthorn Football Club . This club also ceased in 1890. No Hawthorn club existed in 1890 - 92.
A new representative club, called the "Hawthorn Football Club" was formed in 1893, which competed in the Victorian Junior Football Association until 1898. Without a ground to play on the club was disbanded in 1899.
In April 1902, Alf Kosky formed a club from the various district club under the banner of Hawthorn Football Club to compete in the Metropolitan Junior Football Association. The club merged with Boroondara in 1905, and in 1912, Hawthorn merged with successful junior club the Hawthorn Rovers to form the Hawthorn City Football Club to become part of a successful council push to have a club in the prestigious VFA.
The Mayblooms, as they were known then became the perennial whipping boys of the competition. They had an almost casual attitude towards playing football and were not able to even pay their players the match payment then allowed by the Coulter Law. Despite the presence of a number of truly classy players such as Bert Hyde, Bert Mills, Stan Spinks, Alec Albiston and Col Austen, Hawthorn in the first seventeen years never won more than seven games in season. The club's nickname changed from the Mayblooms or Mayflowers to Hawks in 1943, a promising season in which the club missed the finals only by percentage. However, Hawthorn immediately returned to the bottom of the ladder, consistently competing with St. Kilda for the wooden spoon. Between 1944 and 1953 the club finished last or second last in every year but one, and in 1950 they did not win a match.
The arrival of Jack Hale as coach was the decisive step in the movement of Hawthorn away from the bottom of the ladder. He eliminated the casual attitude that prevailed at the club during its first thirty years in the VFL and made the club greatly less accepting of defeat than before. Although Hawthorn finished last in 1953, from the following year improvement was steady. Hawthorn won eight games each in 1954 and 1955 as against no more than five in any season from 1946 to 1953, whilst the following year, although the seniors showed a slight decline to seven wins and a draw, the reserve grade side gave them their first finals appearance in any grade. The following year the senior team broke through to their first finals appearance, in which year Cyril Collard became the first indigenous Australian to play for Hawthorn. After three seasons in mid-table Hawthorn went further than ever before in 1961, winning their first premiership by defeating Footscray. 1960 Club Champion Brendan Edwards was acknowledged as the star of this win which marked the first of three flags for coach John Kennedy, a Hawthorn legend.
However, Hawthorn fell right back in 1962 winning only five games, and despite rising temporarily to runners-up in 1963 they fell back again to be last in 1965 with only four wins. They struggled for the rest of the 1960s until Peter Hudson joined them and immediately became the competition's best full-forward. In 1968 he kicked 125 goals, in 1969 120, and in 1970 a home-and-away record of 146 goals. Despite this, Hawthorn still failed to make the finals, but the acquisition of the powerful Mornington Peninsula recruiting zone gave the club a huge boost in its quest for success and permitted the club a much more powerful list then ever before.
In the 1970s Hawthorn had more success winning three flags. During the 1970s a strong rivalry grew with North Melbourne and they met in three grand finals with the Hawks prevailing twice.
The 1971 Grand Final was between Hawthorn (coached by Hawthorn legend John Kennedy) and St Kilda coached by Allan Jeans who would later move to Hawthorn and enjoy success as the Hawks coach in the 1980s. The match was played before 118,192 people at the MCG on a fine and sunny Melbourne day. Hawthorn went into the match without inspirational centre half back Peter Knights who had suffered a severe knee injury two weeks earlier. A hard tough game, the Saints led the Hawks by 20 points going into the last quarter. Hawks 5.7.37 to the Saints 8.9.57. For the Saints however, as coach Allan Jeans was to comment, "The season was just 25 minutes too long". "Kennedy's Commando's" (the term given to the team after the coach's tough physical training program and loudly proclaimed in the huge banners that swept around the MCG (now sadly replaced by advertising signs)) came into force. The Hawks moved Peter Hudson out to centre half forward and Bob Keddie into the goal square. The Hawks slammed on seven goals to three in that final quarter, with Keddie kicking four, to run out winners 12.10.82 to the Saints 11.9.75. The final term saw ten goals being scored.
The 1976 Grand Final was inspired by the illness of former vice-captain Peter Crimmins who died a week after the victory from cancer, and by the humiliating defeat of the 1975 Grand Final loss to the North Melbourne Kangaroos. The Hawks greats such as the prolific goal-kicker Peter Hudson, rover Leigh Matthews, back pocket and future coach David Parkin, ruckman Don Scott, full back Kelvin Moore and centre half-back Peter Knights played through this era. The Hawthorn North Melbourne clash was a close encounter, but injuries to champions such as Keith Greig and Brent Crosswell made North's chances of winning difficult. However, when Hawthorn looked threatened, they replied quickly and kept their lead intact. The forward line won the day and as a result it was not surprisng that John Hendrie was voted best on ground by radio and newspapers of the day.
The first of four Grand Final wins for the decade was in 1983, with Hawthorn (20.20) defeating Essendon (8.9) This was at the time a record margin in a Grand Final; signifying the juggernaut that Hawthorn was to become during the 1980s. 1983 would mark Hawthorn being in the finals for 13 years in a row. Hawthorn competed in the next two Grand Finals against rival Essendon, losing in 1984 due to Essendon's famous final quarter charge, and losing again in 1985 by a far greater margin; souring the final game of club legend Leigh Matthews. The 1985 Grand Final marked the end of Essendon's success during the 1980s, but did not for Hawthorn, with their second premiership coming the year after in the 1986 Grand Final, with Hawthorn (16.14) defeating Carlton (9.14) convincingly, with Gary Ayres winning his first of two Norm Smith Medals. 1987 saw Hawthorn finish second to a superior Carlton team. The fact that Hawthorn even made it to the Grand Final is still the centre of some controversy; with Garry Buckenara's after the siren kick in the 87' preliminary final breaking the hearts of tens of thousands of Melbourne supporters. The unprecedented success carried on for the Hawks, who would win the 1988 premiership (22.20) against Melbourne (6.20); eclipsing their own record margin in a Grand Final by 13 points over the hapless demons; adding insult to injury after the previous year's preliminary final. 1989 is today viewed as one of the most spectacular AFL/VFL seasons to date; with the emergence of Geelong Great Garry Ablett Snr, the resurgence of Geelong and the greatest Grand Final of the modern era occurring in this year. The Hawks (21.18) defeated Geelong (21.12) in the 89' Grand Final. The match is now legendary for its amazing toughness, physicality, skill, massive scoring and tension. The Hawks jumped out to an enormous lead as Geelong attempted to unsettle the Hawks through physicality. However the physical toll on the Hawks began to show as the match wore on; with John Platten being Concussed, Robert Dipperdimenco puncturing his lung, Dermott Brereton breaking his ribs and Michael Tuck splitting the webbing on his hand. By midway through the final quarter the Cats were charging; Hawthorn desperately trying to hold off the Cat's avalanche of goals while containing the brilliance of Ablett who ended the match with a record 9 goals. Hawthorn's experience and determination allowed them to hold off Geelong for just long enough, scraping through to victory by one goal. The fast-paced style of Hawthorn's play was copied by the West Coast Eagles who became the powerful club of the early 1990s. Other clubs have had success since but none have matched the dominance of the Hawks in this period; who ended the 1980s having played in a record 7 Grandfinals in a row. Leading players of the 1980s included Dermott Brereton, Gary Ayres, Michael Tuck, Jason Dunstall, Gary Buckenara, John Platten and Chris Langford.
The 1989 VFL Grand Final victory over Geelong is widely regarded as one of the greatest and toughest Grand Finals in the history of the competition.
The club began to struggle on and off the field for the remainder of the 90s, and were involved in a proposed merger with the Melbourne Football Club in 1996. This never happened, and Hawthorn would begin rebuilding a team which would start to dominate in the late 2000s.
In 2001 the Hawks again enjoyed a successful year, but it was to be their last for several seasons. The Hawks won 8 games straight at the start of the season and, despite faltering in the middle part of the year, made it to the Preliminary Final, which they narrowly lost to Essendon. In the off-season, Hawthorn traded Trent Croad and Luke McPharlin for the no.1 Draft Pick Luke Hodge, and no.36 Sam Mitchell. In retrospect, the Hawks are seen to have won this trade. Trent Croad would, ironically, return to Hawthorn two years later via a trade of pick 10 Ryley Dunn, citing home sickness as a reason for his departure.
The Hawks missed the finals altogether in 2002. The Hawks finished 10th, which was considered to be a very disappointing result for the club. Shane Crawford won the Best and Fairest after another stellar season. In the off-season, the Hawks again proved to be big players, and snared the services of super-star ruck man Peter Everitt.
After a poor start to the 2003 season, the Hawks went on to finish the second half of the year strongly and finished in 9th place, narrowly missing the finals. Sam Mitchell shone for the Hawks and won the Rising Star Award. This form had punters excited and the team were early favourites for a top 4 finish the next year. Shane Crawford once again won the Best and Fairest, with 'Crawf' also coming second in the Brownlow medal, by a single vote.
During the 2004 pre season Hawthorn coach Peter Schwab declared that the Hawks would be aiming to win the premiership although this statement would be followed by a horrific season for Hawthorn as the Hawks managed just 4 wins and 18 losses. The club imploded, and by mid-season coach Peter Schwab was sacked, and Captain Shane Crawford broke his arm, and eventually relinquished the captaincy. Following the collapse of the club on the field, many players either left or were sacked from the club. Nathan Thompson left the club citing a fresh start following his admission that he suffered from depression. Rayden Tallis, Mark Graham, Kris Barlow and Lance Picioane were also released from the club. More than 700 games of experience left the club following the season.
Alastair Clarkson was appointed coach before the conclusion of the 2004 season and promptly delisted many players who were either underperforming or not fitting in with his youth policy which he embarked on to rebuild the club. The Hawks took Jarryd Roughead, Lance Franklin, Jordan Lewis at picks 2, 5 and 7 respectively in the AFL Draft. In the pre-season AFL Draft, former Hawk Trent Croad who had played for the Fremantle Dockers for 2 years returned to his original side.
With Clarkson at the helm, the Hawks made solid progress, and instituted a culture of discipline at the club. The Hawks won only 6 games and played a widely criticised high-possession gameplan and finished in 14th position. Hawks fans still deemed it to be a somewhat successful season. Lance Franklin, Jarryd Roughead and Jordan Lewis all won Rising Star Nominations. Shane Crawford also had a return to form after a terrible 2004 when he broke his arm, and finished 3rd in the Peter Crimmins Medal.
The success story of the year was former No.1 Draft Pick Luke Hodge, who became a super-star off half back, winning the Peter Crimmins Medal, All-Australian jumper and coming equal 4th in the Brownlow Medal, collecting 15 votes. Peter Everitt and Trent Croad were also named in the All-Australian team.
The Hawks were again busy in the off-season, trading players for draft picks. The Hawks ended Trade Week with 5 top 20 draft picks, further reinforcing their youth-policy.
In 2006, after a flyer start, being 4-1 Win/Loss ratio after the first 5 rounds, the Hawks faltered and fell to a 6 game losing streak before breaking the drought against Richmond in round 12, when Lance Franklin booted 6 goals. A further 6 game losing streak ensued, before another 6 goal burst from "Buddy" in round 19 against Carlton was the spark to a final 4 game winning streak, which helped the Hawks leap frog Port Adelaide, the Kangaroos, and Brisbane to finish the year in 11th place.
Despite finishing the 2006 season in 11th place, the Hawks have supporters excited and have a lot of talent to work with in the years to come. Their run-with-the-ball game style has been praised, and as a result Coach Alastair Clarkson was rewarded with a new 2 year contract after the mid-season break.
The Hawks also relocated their administrative headquarters from Glenferrie Oval, and moved to Waverley Park in the early stages of 2006. Glenferrie Oval still remains the spiritual home of the football club.
At the end of the 2006 season, the Hawks increased their commitment to Tasmanian market - where they have developed a large support base - with 4 games to be played at Aurora Stadium in Launceston, involving the Tasmanian government becoming an official sponsor of the club, in one of the biggest sponsorship deals in Australian sporting history worth $15-20 million dollars.
The remaining 7 home games and several away games will be played at the MCG, giving the club a significant number of home and away games at the ground.
In 2007 the club embarked on the finals and showed some potential to further their success in 2008 as up and coming players become more experienced.
The club recorded its 11th consecutive year-end profit at the close of the 2007 season, a record $3.6m dollars.
Hawthorn won their first premiership since 1991, defeating Geelong 18.7-115 to 11.23-89 in the AFL Grand Final. This took place on Saturday the 27th of September, 2008 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Luke Hodge won the Norm Smith Medal, overcoming a serious rib injury inflicted upon him against the Saints in the Preliminary Final. Hawthorn went on to defeat Geelong by more than 4 goals to win the 2008 premiership.
As of June 2008, the Hawthorn Football Club boasts the 5th largest membership in the AFL, behind only Adelaide, West Coast, Fremantle and Collingwood, with the Hawks breaking the 40,000 member barrier for the first time in the club's 83 year history and only the third ever amongst the Victorian based clubs.
According to club research, the club has around 400,000 supporters across Australia. Notable supporters include club president Jeff Kennett, cricketers Ian Healy, Mark Taylor, Terry Alderman, Damien Fleming, Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, Australian Olympic Rower James Tomkins and media personality Stephen Quartermain
In 2008 the Hawthorn Football Club drew 1,164,396 to all 25 completed games, a club record and 7th largest aggregate attendance for any club, of all time.
|Year||Finishing position||Coach||Captain||Best and Fairest||Leading Goalkicker|
|1925||12th||Alex Hall||Jim Jackson||-||Leslie Woodford (35)|
|1926||11th||Dan Minogue||Dan Minogue||Craig Florence||Bert Hyde (27)|
|1927||12th||Dan Minogue||Pat Burke||Craig Florence||Bert Hyde (41)|
|1928||12th||Bert Sutton||Bert Sutton||Craig Florence||Bert Hyde (62)|
|1929||10th||Bert Chadwick||Bert Chadwick||Craig Florence||Bert Hyde (47)|
|1930||10th||John Harris||John Harris||Craig Florence||Bert Hyde (52)|
|1931||11th||John Harris||John Harris||Craig Florence||Jack Ryan (39)|
|1932||12th||Jim Jackson||Bert Mills||Stan Spinks||Jack Ryan (37)|
|1933||11th||Bill Twomey, Sr.||Bill Twomey, Sr.||Bert Mills||Ted Pool (27)|
|1934||11th||Bill Twomey||Bert Mills||Ernie Loveless||Jack Green (80)|
|1935||10th||Ivan McAlpine||Ivan McAlpine||Bert Mills||Jack Green (63)|
|1936||9th||Ivan McAlpine||Ivan McAlpine||Leo Murphy||Norm Hillard (26)|
|1937||8th||Ivan McAlpine||Ivan McAlpine||Leo Murphy||Norm Hillard (31)|
|1938||11th||Ivan McAlpine||Bert Mills||Stan Spinks||Alby Naismith (30)|
|1939||10th||Len Thomas||Len Tomas||Bert Mills||Alec Albiston (37)|
|1940||9th||Bert Mills||Bert Mills||Andy Angwin||Alby Naismith (25)|
|1941||12th||Bert Mills||Bert Mills||Alec Albiston||Alec Albiston (57)|
|1942||11th||Roy Cazaly||Jack Carmody||Jack Barker||Alec Albiston (32)|
|1943||5th||Roy Cazaly||Bob Williams||Jim Bohan||Wally Culpitt (43)|
|1944||11th||Tommy Lahiff||Jim Bohan||Jim Blackman||Wally Culpitt (57)|
|1945||10th||Keith Shea||Keith Shea||Jim Bohan||Alec Albiston (66)|
|1946||12th||Keith Shea||Jim Bohan||Alec Albiston||Albert Prior (52)|
|1947||11th||Alec Albiston||Alec Albiston||Wally Culpitt||Albert Prior (67)|
|1948||11th||Alec Albiston||Alec Albiston||Kevin Curran||Albert Prior (47)|
|1949||12th||Alec Albiston||Alec Albiston||Col Austen||Albert Prior (48)|
|1950||12th||Bob McCaskill|| Peter O'Donohue, |
|John Kennedy||Gordon Anderson (21)|
|1951||11th||Bob McCaskill|| Peter O'Donohue, |
|John Kennedy||Pat Cash (26)|
|1952||11th|| Jack Hale, |
|Peter O'Donohue||John Kennedy||John McDonald (25)|
|1953||12th||Jack Hale||Ted Fletcher||Ted Fletcher||Kevin Coghlan (19)|
|1954||9th||Jack Hale||Ted Fletcher||John Kennedy||Kevin Coghlan (27)|
|1955||8th||Jack Hale||John Kennedy||Graham Arthur||Kevin Coghlan (28)|
|1956||7th||Jack Hale||John Kennedy||Roy Simmonds||John Peck (31)|
|1957||3rd||Jack Hale||John Kennedy||Alf Hughes||Terry Ingersoll (33)|
|1958||6th||Jack Hale||John Kennedy||Graham Arthur||John Peck (27)|
|1959||7th||Jack Hale||John Kennedy||Allan Woodley||Gary Young (35)|
|1960||5th||John Kennedy||Graham Arthur||Brendan Edwards||Gary Young (36)|
|1961||Premiers||John Kennedy||Graham Arthur||Ian Law||John Peck (49)|
|1962||9th||John Kennedy||Graham Arthur||Graham Arthur||John Peck (38)|
|1963||2nd||John Kennedy||Graham Arthur||Ian Law||John Peck (75*)|
|1964||5th||Graham Arthur||Graham Arthur||Ian Law||John Peck (68*)|
|1965||12th||Graham Arthur|| Graham Arthur, |
|David Parkin||John Peck (56*)|
|1966||9th||Peter O'Donohue||Graham Arthur||Ray Wilson||John Peck (32)|
|1967||10th||John Kennedy||Graham Arthur||Bob Keddie||Peter Hudson (57)|
|1968||6th||John Kennedy||Graham Arthur||Peter Hudson||Peter Hudson (125*)|
|1969||5th||John Kennedy||David Parkin||Bob Keddie||Peter Hudson (120)|
|1970||8th||John Kennedy||David Parkin||Peter Hudson||Peter Hudson (146*)|
|1971||Premiers||John Kennedy||David Parkin||Leigh Matthews||Peter Hudson (150*)|
|1972||6th||John Kennedy||David Parkin||Leigh Matthews||Peter Knights (46)|
|1973||7th||John Kennedy||David Parkin||Don Scott||Leigh Matthews (51)|
|1974||3rd||John Kennedy||Peter Crimmins||Leigh Matthews||Michael Moncrieff (67)|
|1975||2nd||John Kennedy||Peter Crimmins||Peter Knights||Leigh Matthews (68*)|
|1976||Premiers||John Kennedy||Don Scott||Leigh Matthews||Michael Moncrieff (97)|
|1977||3rd||Neil Florence||Don Scott||Leigh Matthews||Peter Hudson (110*)|
|1978||Premiers||David Parkin||Don Scott||Leigh Matthews||Michael Moncrieff (90)|
|1979||7th||David Parkin||Don Scott||Kelvin Moore||Michael Moncrieff (45)|
|1980||8th||David Parkin||Don Scott||Leigh Matthews||Michael Moncrieff (86)|
|1981||6th||Allan Jeans||Leigh Matthews||Terry Wallace||Leigh Matthews (48)|
|1982||3rd||Allan Jeans||Leigh Matthews||Leigh Matthews||Leigh Matthews (74)|
|1983||Premiers||Allan Jeans||Leigh Matthews||Terry Wallace||Leigh Matthews (43)|
|1984||2nd||Allan Jeans||Leigh Matthews||Russell Green||Leigh Matthews (77)|
|1985||2nd||Allan Jeans||Leigh Matthews||Dermott Brereton||Dermott Brereton (58)|
|1986||Premiers||Allan Jeans||Michael Tuck||Gary Ayres||Jason Dunstall (77)|
|1987||2nd||Allan Jeans||Michael Tuck||John Platten||Jason Dunstall (94)|
|1988||Premiers||Alan Joyce||Michael Tuck||Jason Dunstall||Jason Dunstall (132*)|
|1989||Premiers||Allan Jeans||Michael Tuck||Jason Dunstall||Jason Dunstall (138*)|
|1990||5th||Allan Jeans||Michael Tuck||Andrew Collins||Jason Dunstall (83)|
|1991||Premiers||Alan Joyce||Michael Tuck||Ben Allan||Jason Dunstall (82)|
|1992||6th||Alan Joyce||Gary Ayres||Jason Dunstall||Jason Dunstall (145*)|
|1993||6th||Alan Joyce||Gary Ayres||Jason Dunstall||Jason Dunstall (123)|
|1994||7th||Peter Knights||Chris Langford||John Platten||Jason Dunstall (101)|
|1995||15th||Peter Knights||Jason Dunstall||Darren Jarman||Jason Dunstall (66)|
|1996||8th||Ken Judge||Jason Dunstall||Paul Salmon||Jason Dunstall (102)|
|1997||15th||Ken Judge||Jason Dunstall||Paul Salmon||Nick Holland (29)|
|1998||13th||Ken Judge||Jason Dunstall||Shane Crawford||Jason Dunstall (54)|
|1999||9th||Ken Judge||Shane Crawford||Shane Crawford||Aaron Lord (42)|
|2000||6th||Peter Schwab||Shane Crawford|| Nick Holland, |
|Nick Holland (51)|
|2001||4th||Peter Schwab||Shane Crawford||Joel Smith||John Barker (41)|
|2002||10th||Peter Schwab||Shane Crawford||Shane Crawford||Daniel Chick (31)|
|2003||9th||Peter Schwab||Shane Crawford||Shane Crawford||Nathan Thompson (38)|
|2004||15th||Peter Schwab||Shane Crawford||Peter Everitt||Nathan Thompson (36)|
|2005||14th||Alastair Clarkson||Richard Vandenberg||Luke Hodge||Mark Williams (63)|
|2006||11th||Alastair Clarkson||Richard Vandenberg||Sam Mitchell||Mark Williams(60)|
|6th||Alastair Clarkson||Richard Vandenberg||[[Brad Sewell||Lance Franklin (73)|
|2008||Premiers||Alastair Clarkson||Sam Mitchell||Lance Franklin||Lance Franklin (113*)|
(*) Competition Leading Goal-Kicker.
Falling on-field and off-field fortune saw the club almost merge with Melbourne in 1996. The resulting club was to be known as the "Melbourne Hawks" - a fusion with the Melbourne nickname of "Demons". A groundswell of support led by former champion Don Scott scuttled the proposal however with Hawthorn members voting strongly against it. Melbourne members supported the merger by a small margin. The failure of the merger led to the resignation of the board and its replacement by a team led by businessman Ian Dicker.
On September 30, 2008, the Hawthorn Football Club relationship with Glenferrie Oval was rekindled when the club hosted a Supporters Day at the clubs spiritual home celebrating the clubs 10th premiership, attended by an estimated 20-25,000 fans.
In August 2005, former Victorian State Premier Jeff Kennett, a long time Hawthorn supporter and former number one membership ticket holder, was appointed to the board of the club with the intention of standing for president at the next coming Annual General Meeting. His rise to presidency was confirmed when on December 14 2005, he was ushered in as president of the Hawthorn Football Club unopposed to the audience of a packed Hawthorn Town Hall.
At their 2007 Annual General Meeting, Hawthorn embarked on a five year business plan titled "five2fifty", the core idea being that in next five years the club will win 2 premierships and have fifty thousand members. As part of the plan, the football club wants to be seen as the most professional club in the AFL, and places great emphasis on the welfare of the people associated with the club.
|Year||Members||Total Attendance||Average Attendance||(Finishing position)²|
Membership target: 40,000
¹(as at 12 July 2008) ²following finals matches
Since 2006, the club has played 4 home games at York Park - capacity 23,000
|Premiership Record||Premiership Record|
|VFL/AFL||Seniors||10||1961, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2008|
|VFL/AFL||Runners Up||5||1963, 1975, 1984, 1985, 1987|
|VFL/AFL||Night/Pre-Season Premierships||9||1968, 1969, 1977, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1999|
|VFL/AFL||Reserves||5||1957, 1958, 1972, 1984, 1985|
|VFL/AFL||McClelland Trophy||6||1961, 1971, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988|
|VFL/AFL||Minor Premiers||9||1961, 1963, 1971, 1975, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989|
|VFL/AFL||Wooden Spoons||11||1925, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1965|
|Ladder Position||Year (Finals in Bold)||Tally|
|1st||1961, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 2008||10|
|2nd||1963, 1975, 1984, 1985, 1987||5|
|3rd||1957, 1974, 1977, 1982,||4|
|5th||1943, 1960, 1964, 1969, 1990, 1992, 2007||7|
|6th||1958, 1968, 1972, 1981, 1993, 1994, 2000||7|
|7th||1937, 1956, 1959, 1973, 1979||5|
|8th||1955, 1970, 1980, 1996||4|
|9th||1936, 1940, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1999, 2003||8|
|10th||1929, 1930, 1935, 1939, 1945, 2002||6|
|11th||1926, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1944, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1952, 2006||11|
|12th||1925, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1965||11|
|15th||1995, 1997, 2004||3|
Note: Before 2002, this was the VFL/AFL Players Association Most Valuable Player award. In 2005, all winners of this honour prior to 2002 were retrospectively awarded the Leigh Matthews Trophy.
We're a happy team at Hawthorn.
We're the mighty fighting hawks.
We love our club and we play to win.
Riding the bumps with a grin at Hawthorn.
Come what may you'll find us striving.
Team work is the thing that talks.
One for all and all for one.
Is the way we play at Hawthorn.
We are the mighty fighting hawks.
It is sung to the tune of The Yankee Doodle Boy. VFL teams the Northern Bullants, the Sandringham Zebras and the Box Hill Hawks and the Central District (Centrals) and West Adelaide (Westies) from the SANFL & The Heathmont Jets (VIC EFL) have similar club songs, with the same tune and several familiar lyrics. Previously the club used a song titled "We all come from Hawthorn Way" to the tune of the folk song "Camptown Ladies".