By 1924, the telegraph had been in Australia for over 70 years, allowing messages to be transferred via dots and dashes, it had quickly connected most Australian cities. Newspapers used the telegraph for sport results and news stories, which were transmitted across the country and reprinted in regional and interstate papers. By the 1890’s processes to transmit images across the wires had improved so that photos could also be transmitted to be reprinted in other cities.

The first telephone service in Australia (connecting Robinson Brothers Melbourne and South Melbourne offices) was introduced in 1879. By 1924 much of Australia was directly connected by telephone exchanges.

What was new was a move into wireless.

Australian Radio in 1925

1923 The first Australian Radio Stations

Improved technology through the First World War led to the advent of commercial radio in the 1920s. Receivers now become cheaper and easier to use. In the 1920's, radio exploded around the world.

Many enthusiasts in Australia were broadcasting. Some broadcast their own shows, others relayed overseas broadcasts, all to tiny local Australian audiences. The government moved to regulate, and license which stations could operate.

Charles MacLurcan was issued with the very first radio licence in Australia for station 2CM. Th station broadcast from the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney (owned by the MacLurcan family), and Charles broadcast popular classical music concerts every Sunday night. Radio 2CM was the first radio station in Australia to publish a regular program guide and Charles was clearly good at generating publicity, because the first broadcast resulted in over 2000 letters from enthusiastic listeners.1

1924 Commercial Radio Sealed Boxes and Licences

The first Australian commercial licences were issued in November 1923 to broadcasters Sydney Limited (2SB) and Farmer and Company (2FC) on December 5, 1923. Their audiences were generally made up of enthusiasts and experimenters. 2 3AR and 3LO went to air on 26 January and 13 October 1924 in Melbourne.3

Initially radio receivers in Australia was set up so that each radio was locked to a particular station and a separate radio licence had to be purchased for each station. The sealed box system (reminiscent of DVD Region Locking), was easy to circumvent and was not supported by retailers and soon failed as a system and receiver's capable of receiving multiple stations were soon openly sold. Many users built their own sets and did not pay the fee.

A and B Stations

The government issued two types of licenses;
  • A Class stations (allowed minimum advertising and were funded by licence fees, most of these stations later evolved into the Australian Broadcasting Corporation);
  • B Class stations, now known as commercial stations

Adaption of Radio

The first 10 years of commercial radio in Australia broadcast to less than 25% of all households. In 1925, around 5% of households had a radio, but many radios were placed in public places, so the audience was not just a tiny elite. It was the later half of the 1930’s saw a dramatic rise in radio usage around the country.

Radio Usage 1925-1950
Radio Usage 1925-1950

Sets and Licence Fees

In 1925 Sets were expensive and yet to be cheap enough for everyone's home. Sets were installed in hospitals, Pubs and schools as well as private houses.

Mercury Hobart 26 Aug 1925 P5 Radio Set
Mercury Hobart 26 Aug 1925 P5 Radio Set
News Adelaide 1 Feb 1926 P4 Set
News Adelaide 1 Feb 1926 P4 Set
Sydney Mail 10 Nov 1926 P4 EW economy 5 valve
Sydney Mail 10 Nov 1926 P4 EW economy 5 valve
Sydney Mail 23 Jul 1924 P26 Wireless Receiving Set Used At Bourke Public School
Sydney Mail 23 Jul 1924 P26 Wireless Receiving Set Used At Bourke Public School

Radio Selections

In 1925, the Argus newspaper conducted a reader poll for what they would most like to hear on the radio. The Argus provided the categories and people selected their preferences. Interestingly, sporting results appears toward the very bottom of listener preferences. The list itself tells a lot about the listenership's class and gender at the time.

Many items which would dominate radio in the future are missing, such as talkback, radio serials, live sport, political discussion, movie reviews, game shows, weather/traffic reports, etc are missing.

Argus 20 May 1925  Plebiscite
Argus 20 May 1925 Plebiscite

Popular shows such as ‘Blue Hills’, ‘Kia-Ora Sports Parade’, the ‘Goon Show’, ‘Pick-a-box’ or more recently ‘Australia All over with Macca’, the ‘Coodabeen Champions’, the ‘D-Gen’, Tony Delroy's Nightlife have no category on the list.

So in 1925, radio stations had existed for less than two years, stations were still experimenting with formats, and working out how to make money. Outside Broadcasts were a novelty. Only the rich or enthusiasts had their own radios, but many people listened to radios in pubs, or other public places.


An International Perspective.

In the USA, the first boxing match was broadcast in 1921, Baseball and College Football games followed the same year. In 1923, East/West college football was broadcast from the newly built Rose Bowl stadium, on January 1, 1923 on the Los Angeles station KHJ.4 In Canada, Ice hockey was first broadcast in 1923, In England the first sports event broadcast was a Rugby international between England and Wales in January 1927, the first Soccer match (Arsenal v Sheffield United) was broadcast a few weeks later. 5

It is easy to see that the 1920's was a time when sport was beginning to be heard on the radio around the world. Australia would have to learn at the same time as everyone else.

One example of experimenting with how to make money is an early 'B' class licence was purchased by the 'Wireless Sporting Co.' in Melbourne. The station aimed to publish sporting results, but to ensure that non-subscribers could not get the results, they intended to publish code-books to their listeners so that they could decipher the results.6

It seems strange than a listener would pay for a code book, and then listen to the radio and use the code book to understand what was being talked about. I assume not many listeners were keen on the idea.
Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser 8-Sep-1924 p4
Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser 8-Sep-1924 p4

Cricket (Feb 1925)

Cricket broadcasts happened before football broadcasts, because there was a bigger national audience and they happened earlier in the year. Maybe if football was a summer game, football would have been broadcast first. In any case, once a ground was wired to broadcast cricket, there were no further technical issues for broadcasting football.

The first Test Match broadcasts occurred through the 1924-1925 England Tour of Australia. In December 1924, in Sydney, Monty Noble (ex Text captain) and Len Watt sat inside the scoreboard and provided updates of the first Test every 15 minutes. In January 1925, in Adelaide, for the third Test, Bill Smallacombe broadcast the first ever ball-by-ball cricket coverage on 5CL radio (although it went live only to Adelaide listeners). 7

Register  Adelaide 24-Jan-1925 P14 Bill Smallacombe (Who delivered the first ball by ball commentary at the Adelaide Test)
Register Adelaide 24-Jan-1925 P14 Bill Smallacombe (Who delivered the first ball by ball commentary at the Adelaide Test)
Register Adelaide 30 Oct 1924 P7 Edgar Mayne (Victorian Captain who delivered the cmmentry in Melbourne)
Register Adelaide 30 Oct 1924 P7 Edgar Mayne (Victorian Captain who delivered the cmmentry in Melbourne)

The play was described stroke for stroke from the ground by means of wireless, and during the intervals musical items were received in the stand on, a loud speaker from the broadcasting station at The Grosvenor. 8

There were two tests in Melbourne that series. The second test and fourth test. Victorian captain Edgar Mayne provided radio commentary. Listeners loved the descriptions and were amazed at the background noises from the game and the crowd.

What a boon wireless must be to the country people. From beginning to end of the test match in Melbourne a description of every incident was dictated on the ground and broadcast. Thousands of people must have listened in while the game was in progress. During most of the time the dictating was done by Edgar Mayne, the Victorian captain. - Adelaide News 9-Jan-19259

After Ball by Ball coverage in Adelaide, technical improvements allowed the fourth Test to be broadcast ball by ball but it is not clear whether it was.

In February 1925, the Associated Radio Company (3AR) improved their connection to the MCG and installed a special line from the broadcasting station so that “by means of this, an observer stationed at the ground will describe the play, stroke by stroke. Interest is added to the broadcasting by the fact that the listeners can hear not only the description by the announcer, but the comments, barracking and cheering but the crowd and occasionally the sound of bat striking ball - (Argus 13-Feb-1925 p11)

Age 7-Jan-1925 p11 TestMatch
Age 7-Jan-1925 p11 TestMatch
Age 3-Jan-1925 p12 Beconsfield
Age 3-Jan-1925 p12 Beconsfield

Through 1925 radio enthusiasts shared their experiences with friends and colleagues. These early adapters were often named in contemporary reports showing just how new the technology was. During the 1925 Melbourne Test match the Barrier Miner, (Broken Hill’s main newspaper), reported the Test Match results, but tacked a small message onto their report on the game, that :

The Melbourne Broadcasting station's announcements of the scores at intervals were picked up by local wireless enthusiasts and for some of the scores "The Miner" is indebted to White and Hosier, R. E. A. Kitchen and Co.and the Radio Club. 10

The key technical setup now existed at the MCG to allow the broadcast of other events including football.

Finals Football Ball-By-Ball

Many stations provided regular updates of scores, but football was not broadcast ball-by-ball through the 1925 season . 3AR did broadcast final matches, possibly building some experience before an attempt at broadcasting the grand final.

It is not clear whose permission was required to broadcast the match, whether just the MCG or of the League as well. These finals matches were picked up by listeners as far away as Tasmania.

Local wireless enthusiasts have been obtaining satisfactory results during the past few days, the conditions being favorable. On Saturday afternoon a detailed description of the Collingwood-Melbourne football match was heard plainly, and among the players few names were as frequently mentioned for good play as that of Warne-Smith, who played last season for Latrobe. 11

Argus 21 Aug 1925 P20 Wireless Guide
Argus 21 Aug 1925 P20 Wireless Guide

3AR broadcast Essendon Collingwood semi final with A.E. Bishop 2:45 – 3:30 so not the full game. The newspaper has nothing that week on 3LO. 12

A similar report for the second semi final: 2.35 to 6.15 description of Collingwood Melbourne by A.E. Bishop. with racing calls given “during intervals” again nothing on 3LO. 13

The Grand Final Calls

There were actually two calls to choose from. On 3AR, A.N. Bishop provided a "description of grand final football match", while on 3LO from 3:00pm to 5:45 ‘Jumbo’ Sharland provided a description (Argus 9-Oct-1925 p20).

Wallace Sharland No:70- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards
Wallace Sharland No:70- 1933 Wills League Footballers - Larger Size Source:Australian Rules Football Cards

Wallace 'Jumbo' Sharland was a ruckman who played 49 games for Geelong between 1920 and 1925. At 191cm, he was very tall for the era. During his career, he fell out with the Geelong Committee as he wanted to play for a Melbourne based club and he was refused a clearance. He played with Geelong early in the 1925 season until a wrist injury forced him out. Sharland continued as a journalist and would go on to be a popular writer for the Sporting Globe and a radio comentator of VFL and VFA games.

Sharland was supported by T.W. Bearup as his mechanic/technician. Bearup later became Victorian manager for the ABC.

In 1964 in talking tho the Age Newspaper about the broadcast, Sharland said he described the game from the old Grey-Smith Stand. "There was no sound proof box and the sound accompaniment was pretty fierce when the excitement rose". 14

The 1964 interview also noted that the week before he had described the preliminary final, "Probably the first radio description of an Australian Rules Game", but as explained above 'A.N. Bishop' called the Semi-finals.

The Grand Final Broadcast was a novelty and it was very popular, especially in Geelong.vThe Argus reported that in Geelong:

It is safe to say that every wireless set in the district was tuned in to 3LO, and those people who were unable to go to Melbourne to witness the grand final match waited about houses where wireless was installed, or in the streets where wireless depot's were opened, so that the news could be received. At such places hundreds congregated. Wireless was installed into the bars of a number of hotels, and a temporary set was installed in two wards of the Geelong Hospital, by Mr. W. Mullett, for the benefit of the patients. A set was also installed at Kardinia Park, where the Junior Association final match was in progress. The crowd took comparatively little interest in the game, but listened intently to the news from Melbourne, applauding any good play announced by Geelong players, growing despondent about injuries received, and cheering loudly the announcement of every goal by Geelong. (Argus 12-Oct-1925 p7)

Thousands of Geelong people went into an ecstasy of delight, when, after some tense moments during which the announcer for 3LO at the M.C.C. grounds, had been describing Collingwood's heroic attempts to wipe off Geelong's lead, he broke off in the middle of a sentence and said, "Geelong has won the premiership." (Argus 12-Oct-1925 p7)

When the sentence, "Geelong has won the premiership," was announced, at all places the crowds broke into tumultuous cheering, and the announcer's following words were lost till his sentence "It will be a great night in Geelong tonight!" (Argus 12-Oct-1925 p7)

The Kardinia Park set was installed by Balfour Motors15

It is hard to imagine the novelty of the experience as listeners as the radio brought the atmosphere directly to them.

The Smithton Novelty Store in the North-West tip of Tasmania was close enough to Melbourne to get a signal and between forty and fifty ‘men’ listened in to game on the other side of the strait on Mr Betteridge’s new radio set. The play was received direct off the football ground, and the cheering of the many thousands of people at the match also the numerous hands heard, was most exciting. Even the ice-cream boys were heard.16

First Quarter

In the first quarter Geelong kicked with the wind, . The crowd was noisy and the Geelong players started nervously. Collingwood had a number of opportunities but Geelong scored the first goal. A free kick to Greeves gave Geelong an opening, and like a flash he sent the ball to Heagney, to Hagger, to Rankin, and Geelong with their first attack had scored. The first goal had come in five minutes (Argus 12-Oct-1925 p7)

Geelong scored again, then Collingwood replied with two, followed by Hagger who kicked Geelong’s third giving them a lead at quarter time, the term ended with the scores: Geelong. 3-2; Collingwood, 2-5.

Paraphrasing newspaper reports 'It was a grand quarter, hard and fast, full of vigour and sparkle. On the merits Collingwood should have been ahead. They had been against the wind (to the Richmond end of the MCG), and their stubborn play had kept Geelong down, while they had missed chances. At that stage it looked as if Collingwood would take the lead, for Geelong, after their turn with the breeze, were only three points to the good.'

Second Quarter

Collingwood were making mistakes, and Geelong had caught the infection of inaccurate shooting, for three behinds, each of which might have been a goal, came before Collingwood could clear their doorstep.

The Collingwood defence was being strongly tested, but Geelong were pressing and their pertinacity was rewarded by Rankin, by clever dodging, and with long snap scoring sixth goal. Geelong were the stronger and faster, they were always in front and their victory was loudly proclaimed. Collingwood had gone to pieces and were floundering.

It was desperately hard, with each side attacking in turn, but no more scoring before half time, when the board showed Geelong 7-8; Collingwood 4-9. That quarter won the game for Geelong. They had appeared over-anxious at the beginning of the game but in the second term they were at their top, and beat Collingwood and the wind.

12 Oct 1925 P11 Geelong V Collingwood
12 Oct 1925 P11 Geelong V Collingwood

Half Time Radio Review

At half time Senator Guthrie, an enthusiastic Geelong supporter (and Geelong Club President), sent a special message through 3AR to Geelong Residents telling them of the game as it stood and of its prospects…a speaker at the ground provided the 3AR commentary to ground patrons, and just before the start of the third quarter, Guthrie announced that though Collingwood were expected to win, in his opinion, Geelong would win by 10-12 points. As it was Geelong did even better, winning by 16 points.17

Much about Senator Guthrie can be learned by C.R. Bradish's biography on Table Talk in 192718. Senator Guthrie was tough. His left leg was infected in 1903 and was sawn off to save him. Surgery did not go well and Guthrie was declared dead and a death certificate written. But somehow he survived and "Today, minus a leg, and walking on a crutch, he is more active than at least six soviet agents engaged in propaganda against the British realm." A great quote emphasizing Guthrie's Britishness and vigour. Guthrie may have accepted the radio, but would soon rail against motion pictures as objectionable, declaring (according to his official senate biography) "they ruined the eyesight of children, and were mainly for the purposes of American propaganda. Furthermore, they did not uphold the superiority of the white race, often ridiculed Englishmen and mutilated the English language." 19

Horsham Times 22 Oct 1929 P12 Senator Guthrie
Horsham Times 22 Oct 1929 P12 Senator Guthrie
TableTalk 23 Jun 1927 Senator Guthrie By LReynolds
TableTalk 23 Jun 1927 Senator Guthrie By LReynolds

Hard Third Quarter Struggle.

The third quarter saw the game settling down into a harder struggle than ever. The wind had freshened, and Geelong pressed forward. L Murphy, Milburn, and Tyson were prominent but they could do no more than keep Geelong out for a while. Hall got a behind, then Hagger made a bad miss for another point. They wanted goals then instead of points.
…. Collingwood realised that it was now or never. Rallying pluckily, they threw caution to the winds and played with rare pluck.

Despite their mistakes, Collingwood were still pressing ……It was still the same hard struggle, with no scoring, until just as the timekeeper rose to ring the bell Stevenson had a flying shot, and as the bell rang it went high through the posts for Geelong's tenth goal.

The lead of 25 points for Geelong was of course substantial, but they had increased the lead by only eight points on the term, and with Collingwood having last say with the wind the game was by no means over. There was a feeling that Geelong might yet lose what they had striven so hard to attain.

1925 Grand Final The Road To Kardinia Russell Stephens
1925 Grand Final The Road To Kardinia Russell Stephens

Game in the Balance.

Collingwood began very quickly… The crowd was strangely quiet just then. It realised that a premiership was hanging in the balance. Collingwood in six minutes reduced the lead to 12 points.

The position then was serious for Geelong, for with 19 ½ minutes gone then lead had been reduced to eight points. The game might yet be lost but Geelong with great determination rallied and attacked, but they too could gain no more than single points. Hagger kicked one and Rayson another and with then lead increased to 10 points time was up save for the added time of two minutes 57 seconds.

With a despairing final effort Collingwood worked forward and, as F. Murphy shot from the wing, there were three Collingwood men and only Ferguson to check them. As Ferguson ran in he fell, and the ball dropping short, he marked it while lying on his back. It was dramatic and spectacular and most timely. That was the end, and with both sides tiring the last bell sounded on Geelong's first League premiership with the scores:—
MCG, 10th October 1925

12 Oct 1925 P1 Geelong Rankin Hagger
12 Oct 1925 P1 Geelong Rankin Hagger

Geelong3.2 (20)7.8 (50)10.13 (73)10.19 (79)
Collingwood2.5 (17)4.9 (33)6.12 (48)9.15 (69)
GE by 3GE by 17GE by 25GE by 10

Cliff Rankin kicked 5 Goals for Geelong. No other player on either side kicked more than 2 goals.

Goal kickers:
Geelong: Rankin 5, Chambers, Hagger, Hall, Heagney, Stevenson
Collingwood: F.Murphy 2, Stainsby 2, Webb 2, Baker, Chesswas, Tyson

Geelong 1925   The Road To Kardinia   Russell Stephens
Geelong 1925 The Road To Kardinia Russell Stephens

The Best Players.

Geelong had an even team in which all played well. It is not easy to pick then best, though I think that most will agree when I name Chambers, Johns, Rankin, Rayson, Leahy and Warren as the best half dozen.
Football Record 1925 Round 3 p13 Clif Rankin Geelong
Football Record 1925 Round 3 p13 Clif Rankin Geelong
Football Record 1925 Round 13 p7 A Rayson Geelong
Football Record 1925 Round 13 p7 A Rayson Geelong
Football Record 1925 Finals W4 p19 J Warren Geelong
Football Record 1925 Finals W4 p19 J Warren Geelong

For Collingwood it is hard to pick one man as playing at his very top. Syd Coventry worked very hard. Webb roved well, but made mistakes. Stainsby had no superior on the side; Milburn made some fine dashes; Cheswass, with a free hand, did well in the centre in the second half. Dibbs did everything well but kicking, and the same may be said of Gordon Coventry. F. Murphy was the best of the forwards and marked well. A

Football Record 1925 Round 9 p13 Syd Coventry Collingwood
Football Record 1925 Round 9 p13 Syd Coventry Collingwood
Football Record 1925 Round 11 p13 R Webb Collingwood
Football Record 1925 Round 11 p13 R Webb Collingwood
Football Record 1925 Finals W4 p13 Harry Chesswas Collingwood
Football Record 1925 Finals W4 p13 Harry Chesswas Collingwood

In the Dressing-room.

The scene in the Geelong dressing-room was remarkable. The players who had succeeded when teams for 39 years had failed, seemed to be the coolest men there. They had just come out of a strenuous contest and were besieged by enthusiastic supporters, but they accepted the plaudits with becoming modesty. Not one of them had been in a premiership team, save Tom Fitzmaurice, who played with Essendon in their last two premierships, and not one of them was alive when Geelong last gained the honours.

The mayor (Councillor Ritchie) and his successor, the mayor elect (Councillor Thear), were also reserving themselves for the celebration at Geelong, but they were highly delighted. Dr. Piper, the president, was all smiles, and so was Senator Frank Guthrie. To these two much of the credit of Geelong is due, for they set themselves to organise the management of the team on lines that demanded success.

After Senator Guthrie had spoken there was a burst of cheering as Dave Hickinbotham mounted the form. He was the captain of the last Geelong team to win the premiership in 1886, and was highly delighted. Then came the Collingwood representatives, C. Tyson, the captain, and Mr. H. Curtis, (president) and Mr. G. Connor (secretary), each of whom offered unstinted congratulations. They expressed their disappointment at having been beaten, but acknowledged the Geelong superiority, not only on the day, but during the season.

Among those in the room none were prouder than the two fathers, "Ted" Rankin and "Ted" Greeves, whose sons had done so much to place Geelong on top. Each was a champion in his day, and each has a champion son. Dave Hickinbotham, one of the best of centre-men, was the centre of an ecstatic throng and when I shook hands with him he said: "I don't often come to Melbourne, but I had to come to-day to hand over the crown I have worn for 30 years to Cliff Rankin. He has won it well, and though I wish him all that anyone could, I hope he won't be the leader of the last victorious team as long as I was."

TableTalk 15-Oct-1925 P23 Grand Final 1925
TableTalk 15-Oct-1925 P23 Grand Final 1925

Enthusiasm at Geelong.

When the sentence, "Geelong has won the premiership," was announced, at all places the crowds broke into tumultuous cheering, and the announcer's following words were lost till his sentence "It will be a great night in Geelong tonight!" His prophecy was fulfilled. People were determined that the occasion should be suitably recognised. Literally the city went mad at night.

Soon after 8 o'clock a crowd of 5,000 people assembled in front of the railway station, and each special from Melbourne added to the number and caused a block on the platform, on which upward of 2,000 were congregated. "When is the team coming?" was the question on everybody's lips. There was no need for the question, as the special train on which they were travelling commenced to whistle loudly before it reached North Geelong, and whistled all the way into the station. The signal being taken up by the drivers of all engines in the station-yards and by the firebells. As the train pulled into the station, up- wards of 200 detonators were let off and the crowd cheered loudly, only to cheer again as the St Augustine Orphanage band struck a welcoming tune. It was with the greatest difficulty that the players were taken from the platform, only to undergo another ordeal possibly worse than that experienced during the hard game. They were shouldered by admiring supporters, and the crowd surged and cheered until the players were placed in waiting motor cars. There were upwards of 10,000 people and 3,000 motor-cars in the vicinity of the station. The players, except C. Rankin, who was carried through the park, were driven to the city hall, whither the crowd had made a wild rush. From the steps of the hall the mayor, Councillor Ritchie, faced 7,500 people. Such enthusiasm was not manifested on armistice night, and in the last decade the crowd in front of the hall his only been equalled by the one which gathered on the occasion of the visit of the Prince of Wales.

When Cliff Rankin, the captain, was called, the crowd cheered for several minutes. He called for three cheers for his players and said, on behalf of the players,

"I thank you for this wonderful reception to-night, I am captain of a great side, in which every player has been captain in his own part." 20


It was clear that the radio broadcasts had been hugely successful. There are many examples of wireless sets being purchased to hear the game, stories of crowds around the sets and reports from a wide area where many people never had the change to see a Melbourne based game.

Following on the broadcasting of a description of the Grand Final match between Collingwood and Geelong on Saturday by 3AR the Associated Radio Company's station received reports from hundreds of listeners in the city and country districts complimenting the station on its transmission. "One listener said he found the story of the match as it was played vivid and entertaining, and as clear as it could possibly be." (Age 14-Oct-1925 p12)

In Millicent South Australia (near Mt Gambier), A.M. White, the proprietor of the local hotel had installed a radio and a large circle of customers had listened to the call 21 Arrangements were being made to broadcast horse racing.

In Stanley, near the North-West tip of Tasmania:

Great excitement was caused -on Saturday last, at the Novelty Store, Smithton. Between forty and fifty men listened in to the final premiership football match played by Geelong and Collingwood, resulting in a win for Geelong. The play was received direct off the football ground, and the cheering of the many thousands of people at the match also the numerous hands heard, was most exciting. Even the ice-cream boys were heard. The many listening-in were indeed pleased to have Mr. Betterldge back from Melbourne, with his radio set. 22

But, there was no football call for 1926 grand final. 23 In fact, live broadcasts of Grand Finals resumed only in 1946, when Jack Gurry at 3UZ did the call.

In many ways this delay was to ensure that no gate money was lost, and was in part due to reluctance of the cricket officials, who controlled the MCG, to allow them.24

In the 1930's and 1950's, regardless of the Grand Final call itself , radio would play a growing part in the dominance of the VFL over local Leagues. In the coming years supporters in country towns would be given a choice, either go and support their local team, or listen to Melbourne football on their radio. But this was to all to come. In 1925 radio really was one of the new electronic marvels.


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End Notes

6. DISTRIBUTING SPORTING NEWS. (1924, September 8). The Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser (NSW : 1904 - 1929), p. 4. Retrieved February 25, 2014, from
7. Speech - Distinguished Visitors - Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Senator John Faulkner - The Senate 19 March 2013 accessed Mar 2015
8. "BELT EM ABOUT!". (1925, January 17). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 12. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from
9. PEOPLE IN SPORT. (1925, January 9). News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), p. 9 Edition: HOME EDITION. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from
10. FOURTH TEST MATCH. (1925, February 14). Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from
11. DEVONPORT. (1925, October 8). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from
12. WIRELESS BROADCASTING PROGRAMMES. (1925, September 18). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 24. Retrieved February 11, 2015, from
13. WIRELESS BROADCASTING PROGRAMMES. (1925, October 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 20. Retrieved February 11, 2015, from
14. "Pioneer remembers first broadcasts...". The Age. 16 April 1964. Retrieved 19 Jun 2016.,2802724&hl=en
15. CITIZENS' TESTIMONIAL. (1925, October 15). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1926), , p. 4. Retrieved June 19, 2016, from
16. Circular Head Chronicle (Stanley 14-Oct-1925 p5)
17. ITEMS OF INTEREST. (1925, October 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 16. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from
18. Promonent Personalities SENATOR GUTHRIE. (1927, June 23). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939), p. 14. Retrieved February 11, 2015, from
20. (1925, October 17). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 71 Edition: METROPOLITAN EDITION. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from
21. No Title (1925, October 13). The South Eastern Times (Millicent, SA : 1906 - 1954), , p. 2. Retrieved June 19, 2016, from
22. SMITHTON ITEMS. (1925, October 14). Circular Head Chronicle (Stanley, Tas. : 1906 - 1954), , p. 5. Retrieved June 19, 2016, from
23. No heading. (1926, October 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 19. Retrieved February 11, 2015, from