|AFL||07/01 09:50||16||Carlton vs St Kilda||View|
|AFL||07/09 09:25||17||St Kilda vs Fremantle||View|
|AFL||07/15 09:50||18||Western Bulldogs vs St Kilda||View|
|AFL||07/24 06:40||19||West Coast vs St Kilda||View|
|AFL||07/30 06:35||20||St Kilda vs Hawthorn||View|
|AFL||08/06 09:25||21||Geelong vs St Kilda||View|
|AFL||06/25 09:25||15|| Sydney v St Kilda ||83-32|
|AFL||06/17 09:50||14|| St Kilda v Essendon ||72-107|
|AFL||06/11 09:25||13|| Brisbane v St Kilda ||78-57|
|AFL||05/29 03:10||11|| St Kilda v North Melbourne ||103-50|
|AFL||05/21 09:30||10|| Adelaide v St Kilda ||69-90|
|AFL||05/14 06:35||9|| St Kilda v Geelong ||90-80|
|AFL||05/08 03:10||8|| Melbourne v St Kilda ||93-55|
|AFL||04/30 09:25||7|| St Kilda v Port Adelaide ||42-43|
|AFL||04/22 09:50||6|| Greater Western Sydney v St Kilda ||60-77|
|AFL||04/16 03:45||5|| St Kilda v Gold Coast ||87-61|
|AFL||04/10 05:20||4|| Hawthorn v St Kilda ||73-142|
|AFL||04/03 05:20||3|| St Kilda v Richmond ||117-84|
The St Kilda Football Club, nicknamed the Saints, is an Australian rules football club based in Melbourne, Victoria. The club plays in the Australian Football League (AFL), the sport's premier league.
The club's name originates from its original home base in the bayside Melbourne suburb of St Kilda in which the club was established in 1873. The club also has strong links to the south-eastern suburb of Moorabbin, due to its long-standing usage of their facilities.
St Kilda were one of five foundation teams of the Victorian Football Association (VFA), now known as the Victorian Football League (VFL), and later became one of eight foundation teams of the original Victorian Football League in 1897, now known as the AFL. Additionally, St Kilda are in an alignment with the Sandringham Football Club in the modern VFL.
St Kilda have won a single premiership to date, a one-point win in the 1966 VFL Grand Final against Collingwood. They have also qualified for the grand final on six additional occasions. The club has won the minor premiership three times, in 1965, 1997 and 2009.
St Kilda developed a reputation as perennial underachievers, much of this attributed to their record of finishing last more often than any other club in the league (27 times), having the longest-continuous premiership drought (55 years), as well as having the second-lowest all-time win percentage of any team still playing in the league (after the Gold Coast Suns).
On 14 March 1873, a meeting was held in Windsor to form the St Kilda Football Club. At this meeting, a provisional committee of men were elected. The formation was completed on 2 April 1873, and on 11 June 1873 another meeting was held to appoint the final committee. The club's original home ground was colloquially nicknamed the "Alpaca Paddock", which was a large fenced-off area at the St Kilda end of what is now known as Albert Park.
During its formation years, the club underwent multiple mergers. In June 1873, it merged with the South Yarra Football Club and adopted the red from their colour scheme. In 1875, the club briefly merged with University to stay financially viable. In March 1888, a decision was made to amalgamate St Kilda with nearby Prahran Football Club. St Kilda retained their colours, name and ground as well as picking up a number of Prahran players. St Kilda competed as a senior club in the VFA from 1877 to 1879, 1881 to 1882 and 1886 to 1896 before accepting an invitation into the breakaway competition, the Victorian Football League, from 1897 onwards.
St Kilda were one of the eight clubs that took part in the inaugural VFL season in 1897. They made their debut in an away game against Collingwood on 8 May 1897 at Victoria Park. The club's home ground in the new league was the Junction Oval in the suburb of St Kilda, Victoria and the club's first home game was against Fitzroy.
St Kilda's early years in the VFL were not successful and, in 1899, they had the lowest score ever recorded in a VFL/AFL match, one point against Geelong. The club lost 48 consecutive games, recording their first win on 5 May 1900, against Melbourne. This match initially ended as a draw, but a protest launched by St Kilda saw the result overturned, resulting in a 1-point victory to St Kilda.
In 1902, Charlie Baker became the first St Kilda player to be the league's leading goalkicker in a home and away season with 30 goals.
Six successive wins at the start of the 1907 season helped St Kilda to its first finals appearance, qualifying third with nine wins and eight losses. The club was beaten by eventual premiers Carlton. The following year, the club once again qualified in third position and were again eliminated by Carlton in the semi-finals.
The 1913 season saw major improvement with the team finishing fourth, eventually being defeated in the Grand Final by Fitzroy. Owing to the finals system at the time, Fitzroy, who had been defeated by St Kilda the previous week, were allowed to challenge St Kilda to a rematch the following week. St Kilda lost the rematch 7.14 (56) to 5.13 (43).
Owing to World War I, St Kilda went into recess in 1916 and 1917. Just prior to their recession, the club temporarily changed their official colours to include yellow in place of white. This was done to avoid association with the German Empire, who had the same colours as St Kilda at the time. The club resumed normal operation in 1918 and fared well initially, qualifying for finals and being defeated in the semi-finals. However, the following years saw St Kilda consistently struggle with poor form. The club qualified for finals once between 1919 and 1938, although during this time period Colin Watson became the first St Kilda player to win the league's highest individual award, winning the 1925 Brownlow Medal. Additionally in 1936, forward Bill Mohr kicked 101 goals, winning the leading goalkicker award and becoming the first St Kilda player to kick 100 goals or more in a season.
The club qualified for finals in 1939, finishing the season in fourth after a record run of eight consecutive victories. The team had its first finals win since 1913, against Richmond, but were eliminated in the preliminary final by Collingwood.
St Kilda won three of the first four games early in the 1940 season and were on top of the ladder after Round 4, however, the club went on to finish second last. Despite prominent players emerging for the club such as Harold Bray, Keith Drinan, Peter Bennett and later Neil Roberts, St Kilda were rarely competitive for the duration of the 1940s.
The 1950s were initially as uncompetitive for St Kilda as the prior decade. The club failed to make the finals for the first half of the decade, and won three wooden spoons over the period. At the end of 1955, Alan Killigrew was appointed as the club's coach. As part of Killigrew's plan to reinvigorate the club, 17 players were removed from the club's list - one of the most substantial list turnovers in VFL history. Between 1957 and 1959, St Kilda won three consecutive Brownlow Medals. The 1959 winner, Verdun Howell, tied with Bob Skilton in the Brownlow Medal count. At the time, Skilton was awarded the medal on count-back. The league later decided to award a Brownlow Medal to any player who was eligible to win who tied on the same number of votes as a winner who won on count-back – with Howell receiving the Brownlow retrospectively.
In 1958, St Kilda won the Consolation Night Series competition, a competition that was played between clubs that had failed to qualify for the premiership season finals series. St Kilda defeated Carlton 16.13 (109) to 15.11 (101).
In 1961, after finishing sixth in 1960, Allan Jeans was appointed coach. In his first season as coach, St Kilda qualified for the final four for the first time since 1939. The club lost to Footscray in the first semi-final. The club qualified for finals again in 1963, but was eliminated in the semi-finals again. In 1965, St Kilda finished the home and away season as minor premiers for the first time in the club's history. St Kilda defeated Collingwood in the second semi-final to progress into the grand final. The club finished second in the 1965 premiership season, being defeated by Essendon in the 1965 VFL Grand Final.
|1966 VFL Grand Final||G||B||Total|
|Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground||Crowd: 101,655|
Following their successful 1965 season, St Kilda qualified for finals in consecutive years for the first time since 1907–08. The club was defeated in the second semi-final by Collingwood - however, the club defeated Essendon in the preliminary final in to qualify for the 1966 VFL Grand Final. St Kilda defeated Collingwood by a single point to win their first premiership in 68 seasons. The following year, St Kilda failed to qualify for the finals series, finishing fifth.
Despite continued finals appearances in the early 1970s, St Kilda was unable to win a second premiership - being defeated by the eventual premiers in each finals series between 1970 and 1973. During this 4 year period, St Kilda qualified for the 1971 VFL Grand Final. Despite leading by 20 points at the beginning of the last quarter, they were defeated by Hawthorn by 7 points.
1974 saw St Kilda decline to the lower half of the ladder for the first time since the 1950s, finishing tenth. Allan Jeans retired from coaching two years later after 16 seasons coaching St Kilda, citing burnout as his reason for retirement.
Following the appointment of Lindsay Fox as club president in 1979, arrangements were made to address the club's withstanding debt of 1.45 million dollars. Many senior players and Allan Jeans accepted a deal to be paid 22.5 cents for each dollar they were owed. Additionally, non-football creditors received 7.5 cents for each dollar owed. The club was ultimately able to settle with its creditors for $195,000. Despite these efforts, continuing financial pressures and defeats saw the club remain in the bottom three for every season between 1979 and 1986.
In 1987, Tony Lockett won the Coleman Medal for leading goalkicker in the home and away season, the fourth St Kilda player to win the league's leading goalkicker award. Lockett also became the seventh St Kilda player to win the Brownlow Medal. He remains the only person in league history to win both the league's best and fairest Brownlow Medal and the league's leading goalkicker Coleman Medal award in the same season.
The league was officially renamed the Australian Football League prior to the start of the 1990 premiership season.
A competitive 1991 AFL season saw St Kilda qualify for a finals series for the first time since 1973, qualifying fourth at the end of the home and away rounds. However, the club failed to win a final, being defeated by Geelong. St Kilda finally broke through the following year, winning its first finals series match since 1973 against Collingwood.
St Kilda won the 1996 Ansett Australia Cup competition, also known as the pre-season cup. The team defeated Carlton in the final 20.10 (130) to 10.12 (72) in front of 66,888 people at Waverley Park. Nicky Winmar became the first St Kilda player to win the Michael Tuck Medal for best player on the ground in the 1996 Ansett Australia Cup Final. Despite this success, the club failed to make the finals.
In the 1997 season, St Kilda qualified for the finals series in first position at the end of the home and away rounds with 15 wins and 7 losses, winning the second minor premiership in the club's history. St Kilda defeated Brisbane in the qualifying finals and North Melbourne in the preliminary finals to move through to the grand final. St Kilda finished second after being beaten in the 1997 AFL Grand Final by Adelaide.
The 1998 season initially appeared to be equally strong for the club. After Round 14 of the season, St Kilda was on top of the ladder in Round 14 with eleven wins and three losses and were tipped as warm favourites for the premiership. However, the team's performance declined severely, losing six of their final eight matches to from first to sixth at the conclusion of the premiership season. After qualifying for the finals in consecutive seasons, St Kilda were defeated narrowly by Sydney in the qualifying finals and then eliminated comprehensively by Melbourne in the semi-finals.
During the early part of the decade, St Kilda struggled, winning only two matches and drawing one to finish with the wooden spoon in 2000. The following two years were similar, finishing second-last in both seasons. During this period, St Kilda recruited players such as Justin Koschitzke, Nick Riewoldt, Nick Dal Santo and Brendon Goddard who were mainstays of the team over the following decade.
In 2004, St Kilda won a club record of 10 consecutive matches from round 1 to round 10. The club returned to finals, eventually being defeated by eventual premiers Port Adelaide in a preliminary final. The following year saw a similar result, with the club being defeated in a preliminary final by Sydney.
The 2006 AFL season saw the club finish in sixth position at the end of the home and away rounds and qualify for a third successive finals series. St Kilda were eliminated by Melbourne in the elimination finals. During this season, Robert Harvey broke the all-time games record for St Kilda when he played in his 324th premiership season match in Round 7. On 11 October 2006, Ross Lyon was appointed as the new head coach for St Kilda, replacing Grant Thomas.
After missing finals in 2007, St Kilda again qualified for the finals in 2008. A 108-point win over Essendon in the final home and away round saw the club take fourth position for the finals series. St Kilda were defeated by Geelong in the qualifying finals, defeated Collingwood in the semi-finals and were eliminated by the eventual premiers, Hawthorn, in the preliminary final.
St Kilda's 2009 season is considered one of the most dominant home and away seasons in AFL history. The club won 20 games - the best ever home and away record for the club - as well as winning 19 games in a row before being defeated by Essendon. In Round 14, St Kilda defeated Geelong by six points, with both teams being undefeated prior to the match. The game broke multiple records, including highest ever crowd for an AFL match at Docklands Stadium (54,444). The game was sold out two weeks in advance, causing a change in timeslot (moving from 2:10 pm to 3:10 pm) so that the Seven Network could broadcast the game live in Victoria. St Kilda eventually progressed to that year's grand final, when they were defeated by Geelong by 12 points. Following the grand final, Ross Lyon signed a three-year extension to his coaching contract until the end of the 2012 season.
The following year, St Kilda experienced a similar level of success, qualifying for the finals in third position. The club recorded their first win against Geelong in a finals match in the 2nd qualifying final and eventually qualified for the Grand Final against Collingwood. The match ended in a draw – the third drawn grand final in VFL/AFL history. St Kilda midfielder Lenny Hayes won the Norm Smith Medal for the player judged best on ground in the match, making him the first St Kilda player to ever win the medal. Owing to the draw, a second grand final match was played the following week. In the grand final replay, Collingwood won by 56 points.
In December 2010, the club was granted ownership of the Linen House Centre, a new training and administration property in the City of Frankston at Seaford valued at approximate $11 million. Following the season, the club announced a record net profit of $7.467 million for season 2010. St Kilda also achieved a new record membership for a single season and were the 2nd most-watched team on television, rating 22,777,092 viewers across the season.
Following a loss in their 2011 elimination final, Ross Lyon left the club, despite one year remaining on his contract, to coach Fremantle. Former Sydney, Fremantle and West Coast player and Collingwood assistant coach Scott Watters was announced as Lyon's replacement in October 2011.
The years after the departure of Ross Lyon did not prove fruitful for St Kilda. They failed to make the finals in 2012 for the first time since 2007 and continued poor performances ultimately culminated in the club finishing last in 2014. Despite this, the 2013 season marked a historic moment for St Kilda and the AFL, when St Kilda hosted the first premiership match outside of Australia. Following the 2013 season, senior coach Scott Watters was sacked. On 14 November, former Port Adelaide director of coaching Alan Richardson was announced as new senior coach for the next three years.
Following further poor performances in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Richardson was advised that his contract would not be renewed for 2020. As a result, he resigned from his position as senior coach. Assistant coach Brett Ratten took over as caretaker coach. After winning three of the season's last six games, Ratten was appointed permanent senior coach in September 2019. During the 2019 trade period, four high-profile players requested a trade to St Kilda and many discussions were held with other players looking to move.
In the shortened 2020 season, the club managed 10 of a possible 17 wins to qualify for their first finals series since 2011.
In 2017, following the inaugural AFL Women's (AFLW) season, St Kilda was among eight clubs that applied for licences to enter the competition from 2019 onwards. In September 2017, the club was announced as one of four clubs to receive a licence to join the competition in 2020.