5 players with the most Grand Final goals in AFL history

VFL Grand Final - Casey v Footscray
VFL Grand Final - Casey v Footscray

Throughout the existence of the game, from the VFL era to the AFL, participating in premiership Grand Finals has been a characteristic of some of the most prominent players. Participating in premiership matches is one thing and scoring goals in the Grand Finals for the team at large is another.

Here, we explore the careers of five VFL/AFL players with the highest number of Grand Final goals.


5 players with the most Grand Final goals in AFL history

5. Dick Lee (20 Grand Final Goals)

AFL Rd 7 - Essendon v Collingwood
AFL Rd 7 - Essendon v Collingwood

Dick Lee debuted at Collingwood in Round 7 of the 1906 season and stayed with the team for 16 seasons until 1922. He played 230 games throughout his career and kicked 707 goals, 20 of which were at the Grand Finals.

Lee was one of the first remarkable forwards in the game. A fine goalkicker, he practiced a neat place kick and was famed for his ability to win the ball both in the air and on the ground.

Lee was an 11-time winner of the Collingwood Goalkicker award (1906-1910, 1914-1917, 1919 and 1921). He served as team captain from 1920 to 1921. A courageous player, his name evokes images of sensational marks, remarkable leaps, and accurate goal-kicks.

Throughout his career, Lee had to deal with recurrent leg injuries which began in 1908 during a game against St Kilda when one of his teammates accidentally kicked his right shin, tearing it open. Even more unfortunately, the wound had been poisoned by dye from his socks and simply refused to heal, popping open every other week.

For the rest of his career, he had to deal with the repercussions of that kick, which repeatedly threatened to bring his career to an early end, but he pushed through until 1922.


4. Jack Mueller (23 Grand Final Goals)

AFL Rd 3 - Port Adelaide v Melbourne
AFL Rd 3 - Port Adelaide v Melbourne

The Melbourne Football Club’s website discloses that Hawthorn missed out on gaining Jack’s clearance by just a few hours. Their loss would turn out to be a huge gain for the Demons. Late in June 1933, Jack signed with Melbourne and made his debut in Round 1 of the 1934 season at the age of 18.

Jack Mueller played for Melbourne in the VFL. An inspirational player, he played a huge role in the success of Melbourne in his active years (1934-1950). He was arguably the major instigator of Melbourne's 1948 flag victory after being re-called from retirement (with the reserves) for that year's Preliminary Final in which he kicked eight of the Demons’ 25 goals against Collingwood.

He followed this up with six out of 10 in the drawn Grand Final with Essendon and another six out of 13 the following week when Melbourne won the replay. Throughout his career, he scored a total of 23 Grand Final goals.


3. Jason Dunstall (23 Grand Final Goals)

Hawthorn Hawks Hall of Fame
Hawthorn Hawks Hall of Fame

Jason Dunstall debuted for Hawthorn in 1985 against Melbourne where he made an immediate impact, kicking an impressive three goals in his side's win against the Demons. By the end of the season, he wound up third in the club’s goalkicking, with Dermott Brereton and John Kennedy ahead.

After a loss to Richmond in 1988, he was dropped from the side. Towards the end of the season, however, he regained his form and closed with 35 goals.

Throughout his 14-year career spanning from 1985 to 1998, Dunstall played 269 games and kicked 1254 career goals. He played in four premierships in which he scored 23 goals, won three Coleman Medals, four Peter Crimmins Medals, and 12 Leading Goalkicker Awards.


2. Dermott Brereton (25 Grand Final Goals)

Hawthorn Hawks Hall of Fame
Hawthorn Hawks Hall of Fame

Brereton played for Hawthorn, Sydney, and Collingwood in the AFL. He is considered a noble contributor to Hawthorn’s 1980s glory days, where he played in the center-half forward position.

The reliable goalkicker debuted in the 1982 Finals Series. He played 189 games and kicked 427 goals at Hawthorn. He moved on to Sydney in 1994, where he played seven games and kicked seven goals. He only stayed with the Swans for a year before going to Collingwood where he ended his career with 15 and 30 goals.

Throughout his years in the AFL, he got to be a member of five premiership teams and kicked 25 goals cumulatively in the Grand Finals.


1 . Gordon Coventry (35 Grand Final Goals)

AFL Rd 18 - Magpies v Blues
AFL Rd 18 - Magpies v Blues

From being absolutely downtrodden and embarrassed about his performance in his first training match at Collingwood to becoming a multiple record breaker and setter, Coventry's was a remarkable turnaround. He won five premierships in 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, and 1935, kicking a total of 1299 goals in 306 games.

Coventry’s career was one of many firsts: first to play 300 games, score 100 goals in a season, win the leading goalkicker award in five consecutive years, and register 1000 career goals.

His 1299 goals was a record for 60 seasons. He was both a Collingwood and AFL Hall of Fame inductee.

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