Richmond’s glorious 25-point Grand Final victory in 1969 over arch-rival Carlton took place at the MCG on Saturday, September 27 before a massive crowd of 119,165.

1969 Grand Final details

Richmond          2.2        6.5        8.6        12.13  (85)
Carlton              1.4        2.7        8.10       8.12  (60)

Goals – Richmond: Barrot 3, Moore 2, Northey 2, Bartlett, Bond, Dean, Hart, Ronaldson.
Best – Richmond: Green, Bartlett, Clay, Barrot, Northey, Dean, Sheedy, B. Richardson.

The 1969 premiership team

Backs K Sheedy B Richardson C Beard
Half Backs G Strang G Burgin I Owen
Centres F Bourke B Barrot D Clay
Half Forwards R Dean R Hart J Northey
Forwards J Ronaldson E Moore B Brown
Ruck M Green M Bowden K Bartlett
Reserve G Bond R Hunt  
Coach T Hafey    

1969 Grand Final review

1st quarter: This game was played in sunny, but windy conditions on a dry ground before a crowd of 119,165 people.  Richmond finished the season in fourth place, slightly ahead of Hawthorn on the same points, but with a superior percentage.  The Tigers made the Grand Final in convincing fashion, defeating Geelong by 118 points in the first semi-final and Collingwood by 26 points in the preliminary final, to earn the right of a clash with Carlton in the Grand Final.  

Richmond started the Grand Final brilliantly when John Northey grabbed the ball from the first bounce and drove deep into the forward line, where Eric Moore doubled back on his opponent to mark and goal. As play moved up and down the ground, the Tigers appeared to be fitter and more desperate.  Royce Hart was pushed in the back and goaled from close in.  Richmond continued to attack as Michael Bowden snapped a point. The Tiger defence, led by Graham Burgin and Geoff Strang, played very determined football. Carlton powerhouse John Nicholls felt the pressure as he missed from close in.  

The Blues’ Ian Robertson marked close to goal, but teammate Syd Jackson felled Kevin Sheedy, who was standing the mark and the ball was given to the tenacious Tiger. Nicholls then kicked Carlton’s first goal, from a free kick. Richmond went into attack and John Northey snapped a point before the siren to give the Tigers a four-point lead.

2nd quarter: Carlton opened the second quarter with an assault on the goals, which realised only one point after five minutes of play. Richmond’s defence was combining very well to keep the Blues at bay. Michael Green was winning in the ruck and bringing the Tigers’ running players into the game.  

The game was developing into a battle of the backlines, with scoring a real struggle. Richmond moved Bill Barrot to full-forward and Moore into the centre. Billy Brown snapped a point, then Kevin Bartlett had a shot for goal, which was marked by Barrot on the goal line.  Barrot’s goal was the first for the term and it had taken 15 minutes to be scored.  Richmond captain Roger Dean then booted his team’s fourth goal, after receiving a free kick in the goal square. From the centre bounce, Bartlett found Barrot, but his shot was astray.  Carlton attacked, but could manage only behinds to Brent Crosswell and Jackson. Richmond moved the ball into attack. Where Barrot snapped a fine goal from a pack a players.  


The Tigers had now opened up a 22-point lead. Barrot was in everything and his move to full-forward had been a real spark for the Tigers’ attack. He again marked on the half-forward flank and drove the ball deep into attack where John Ronaldson took a strong mark and goaled. Carlton finally scored a goal when Robert Walls took a strong mark and kicked accurately. Richmond went in at half-time with a 22-point lead.

3rd quarter: Within the first minute of the third quarter, Northey goaled after receiving a free kick for a push in the back.  Carlton then regrouped and gained confidence as it fought to get back into the match. Nicholls flattened Moore, and Waite crunched Dean as Carlton applied physical pressure. The Blues then got a run-on, with quick goals to Jackson and Adrian Gallagher. Richmond’s defence stood firm despite the intense pressure being applied. Northey had a chance as he kicked to a vacant goal square, but the ball bounced the wrong way. Jackson goaled for Carlton and Nicholls followed shortly after. Brent Crosswell then snapped a fine left-foot goal after dropping a mark and Jesaulenko snapped another goal from close in as Carlton hit top gear.  


The Blues had come from 28 points down to lead by 10.  Carlton attacked again, however, fine pressure from Dean saw him grab the ball and handball to Hart, who passed to Brown, who then kicked towards Moore in front of goal. Moore marked courageously before being flattened by Carlton opponents Waite and Hall. Moore got to his feet, received a 15-metre penalty and goaled, to reduce the Tigers’ deficit at three-quarter time to four points.

4th quarter: During the early part of the last quarter, it was a battle of the defences.  Richmond seemed the fitter team and Carlton appeared leg-weary. The Tigers added points to Barrot and Ronaldson after shots from a long way out.  Hart then missed after taking a mark. From the kick-out, Brown grabbed the ball and passed to Barrot, who marked and kicked a team-lifting goal from the half-forward flank. That first goal of the last quarter from Barrot had taken nine minutes to score, but shortly after this, Ronaldson handballed out to Northey, who snapped truly with the left foot. Richmond continued to attack, but could add only points from Clay and Northey.  

Graeme Bond replaced Moore and went to full-forward as Barrot kicked another point. With time-on starting, Bartlett kicked to the goal square where Bond marked and excitedly went back to kick the goal. The Tigers went straight back into attack and Bartlett cleverly intercepted the ball in a pack and steered through a fine goal. Rex Hunt replaced Bowden just before the final siren.  Richmond’s defence had won the Grand Final for the Tigers by playing tough, aggressive, close-checking football, which completely shut out the Carlton forwards for all but 15 minutes of the game.  

The final margin showed Richmond was a comfortable winner by 25 points. In the wash-up, it was Tommy Hafey’s ability to ensure his team remained physically fit that enabled Richmond to win this premiership from fourth place on the ladder at the end of the home-and-away rounds.

1969 newspaper
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